The Catalan regional elections held yesterday, Sunday 14th February, have resulted in a surge of support for the Catalan Socialists (PSC), led by Spain´s former health minister, Salvador Illa, who doubled their seats in the Catalan parliament to 33 of the 135 contested and won the largest number of votes with 625,000 votes cast.
However the combined Catalan nationalist parties narrowly secured an overall majority in the regional parliament with over 50% of the votes for the first time.
The combined seperatist parties won 74 seats comprising Esquerra Republicana (ERC) with 33 seats (32 in 2017), with right-wing rival Junts per Catalunya (JxCat) winning 32 seats (34 in 2017) and CUP with 9 (4 in 2017).
The elections held with the backdrop of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and with strict health protocols in place for voting had a significantly lower turnout of just over 53% of the electorate.
In 2017 the turnout was nearly 80% with the backdrop of the acrimonious stand-off with the central Partido Popular government of Mariano Rajoy.
A good result for the right-wing unionist party Vox who won Catalan seats for the first time with a total of 11 which was more than the Partido Popular and Ciudanos combined on 6 and 3 respectively.
A terrible result however for the centre-right Ciudadanos (Cs), whose vote collapsed from 36 four year ago to just 6 in 2021.
The left wing CatECP, (part of Podemos Unidas) who are the central coalition government junior partners kep their 8 seats from 2017.
Salvador Illa is expected to announce his candidacy to lead a minority coalition government but the separatist parties are likely to choose from among themselves for a governing coalition to keep a nationalist agenda for the region.