Responding to the Catalan election result SSP national spokesman Colin Fox said:

“First, the result is a remarkable achievement by the three Catalan Independence parties who have again emerged with the majority of seats, if not the votes, having had this election forced upon them by the Spanish Government and their leaders forced into exile or jailed following the October 1st referendum.

Support for Independence has held despite Rajoy’s brutal attempts to cow it.

As an immediate priority this must end and the Catalan politicians must be free to return to elected democratic politics.

The three Catalan independence parties secured 70 of the 135 seats in the Barcelona Parliament sufficient to form a regional Government again.

At the same time, however, a more substantive reading of the picture suggests the political impasse will continue as there remains no clear majority for Independence among the population as a whole.

The Catalan Independence parties achieved 47.5% of the vote to the Spanish nationalists 44% – the other 8% represented by the intermediate position of Podem en Comu.

This complex picture indicates a population deeply divided over the question of Independence.

It is also notable that the left wing Catalan party CUP lost 60% of its seats and 50% of its vote] to the more right-wing Catalan nationalist parties PdeCat and ERC.

All eyes will now be on the response of Popular Party Prime Minister Mariono Rajoy in Madrid.

His likeliest move will be to recognise the result, possibly even drop the charges against Carles Puigdemont and the ERC leaders demanding in return assurances they desist from any more challenges to the Spanish Constitution such as the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in October.

Failure to do so will see another clampdown on any moves it deems ‘unconstitutional’.

Whether this is acceptable to those supporting Catalan independence is another matter.

The political impasse however is unlikely to be eased with this result. Supporters of Catalonian independence still have a long hard road ahead of them if they are to persuade a majority of their case or free themselves from the constraints of the Spanish state.”