The independence movement in Catalonia has secured a significant victory in regional elections.
The separatist movement claimed 72 seats in the 135-seat regional parliament.
The pro-independence parties made it clear before the vote that they considered it a referendum on independence from Spain.
The Spanish government has declined a legally recognised independence ballot to take place.
Those opposed to secession gained comfort from the fact that the want away vote failed to hit the 50 percent mark.
Of the 4 million votes cast 1.9 million went to the independence parties.
At the post-election victory party leaders vowed to move towards the creation of a Catalan state.
Madrid says it will launch legal proceedings if Catalonia makes any unilateral moves to break from Spain.