Party leaders in Catalonia have made last-ditch appeals to undecided voters as campaigning came to a close ahead of Thursday's regional election.(Dec 21)
It's believed that more than 20 percent of the region’s 5.5 million-strong electorate remain unsure as to who to vote for.
Polls indicate that the race will be close between supporters of secession and those who want to remain part of Spain as the final rallies set out the arguements.
Ciudadans (Citizens) party leader Ines Arrimadas, the leading regional presidential candidate opposing independence, said she would bury the region’s secession ambitions if she wins Thursday’s election.
"I want to be the president of all Catalans, no matter where they come from, what they think or believe, because so far we haven't had a presidency with a president for all Catalans. We have had a president only for the independence process," Arrimadas told a well attended rally.
Carles Puigdemont who was sacked as president when Madrid imposed direct rule said from his self-impose exile in Belgium that the election was really about "whether the country or Prime Miniser Rajoy wins".
"I make this request with the commitment that, if I am elected president, I will enter the regional presidential palace accompanied by the whole legitimate government that was sacked under Article 155."
In all there are seven main parties vying for election which are evenly split on the pro and anti-independence issue.
If neither bloc secures enough seats for a parliamentary majority, the king makers could be the anti-independence socialist party and regional brand of the far-left Podemos party, which opposes independence but wants a legally binding referendum.
Madrid has said full autonomous powers will be returned to Catalonia once a law-abiding government is elected.