The electoral campaign in Spain’s northeastern Catalonia region has ended ahead of a symbolic vote on independence from Madrid tomorrow.
The result will not be recognised by the Spanish government.
Catalans are expected to turn out in big numbers to make their strongest show of force to date for breaking away from the rest of Spain.
Officials from the region’s two main political parties say that a turnout of more than one and a half million people would send a clear signal to Madrid that Catalonia is serious about independence.
They say it would also add pressure on the Catalan president to call early regional elections, which would likely favour the more radical wing of the Catalan independence movement and potentially speed up the independence process.
Others don’t want total independence from Spain and the EU.
Tensions have risen between the central government and Catalonia as Madrid tried to stop all attempts by the region to hold a referendum on its future.
The symbolic vote is likely to take place peacefully.