Pro-independence parties get best ever result in Spanish election
With counting still underway, ERC again wins in Catalonia with 13 seats, with far-left CUP entering Spain's Congress for first time with 2 MPs
With the counting of votes almost at an end, pro-independence Esquerra Republicana (ERC) again came out on top among Catalan parties in Sunday's Spanish general election, although it did so dropping two seats to 13.
With Pedro Sánchez's Socialist Party winning the election but without a majority, the Catalan Socialists (PSC) came in second, holding on to the 12 seats it won in the previous general election, just over six months ago on April 28.
Despite ERC losing 2 seats, the pro-independence bloc in the Congress actually went up from April, with Junts per Catalunya increasing its number of seats to 8 (up 1), and far-left CUP entering the Spanish parliament for the first time with 2 seats.
Between them, the three pro-independence parties now have a total of 23 seats in the Spanish parliament, which is below the 50% threshold of all the seats available for Catalonia, but an all-time high in a Spanish election.
Meanwhile, left-wing En Comú Podem held on to its 7 seats to come in fourth among the Catalan parties, with the unionist parties on the right - People's Party, Ciutadans and Vox - all getting 2 seats in Congress each.
Although Ciutadans, the Catalan branch of the Ciudadanos party (Cs), is the main opposition party in the Catalan parliament with 36 seats, the poor performance of Cs in the Spanish election means that ERC now has more seats in Congress.
Partys respond to results
ERC's party coordinator, Pere Aragonès, said the results meant that "today the independence camp is stronger than ever," and referring to the sentencing of Catalan political leaders and activists added: "Today, the people have given their sentence."
On CUP's debut in Congress, the party's main candidate, Mireia Vehí, warned "we're going to Madrid to amend the regime," and referring to the jailed leaders, added "either we talk about an amnesty and self-determination or there can be no governance of the state."
Laura Borràs, the main candidate for the other pro-independence party, JxCat, congratulated ERC and CUP and warned the Socialists that "we repeat our commitment not to give our votes away for nothing, and not to invest Pedro Sánchez in exchange for nothing."
The Catalan Socialists' leader, Miquel Iceta, celebrated Sánchez's victory and proposed dialogue to resolve the Catalan crisis: "PSC is indispensable in finding an agreed solution to provide a way out of the cul-de-sac in which the independence movement has put us."