Catalans have reacted with surprise but determination to the result of their regional election.
The governing pro-independence CIU party lost 12 seats, while the vote for many smaller pro-independence parties increased.
For some, it is a reflection of the anger felt at the CIU’s austerity policies. But voters seem agreed on one thing, the push for independence from Spain.
“I expected a better result for the CIU,” said one man. “But even with their losses, adding up their votes and those for the ERC, the result is a large majority for the separatists. I think both parties should get together and push through the independence project and create an independent state.”
“It is not really the result we were expecting but it is clear that some of the pro-independence parties have grown a lot.” said another. “Now they must give the people what they want. All the nationalist parties, whether moderates, from the right or the left, all of them must now muck in to build a new state.”
Our correspondent in Barcelona says the CIU’s plans for sovereignty for Catalonia, shaped by Artur Mas, have not been mandated by popular support. The party has fewer seats and needs the support of other political groups to push through its plan to organise a referendum on independence for the region.