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If the Spanish election was about Catalonia, there can only be one conclusion: the independence movement remains the fundamental obstacle to stability in Spanish politics. Pedro Sánchez has been unsuccessful in calling an early election and only has four options: a great coalition with the Partido Popular (PP joining the government or enabling one with their abstention), which risks leaving the leadership of the right to Vox; getting the support of one or more pro-independence Catalan parties, which entails a risk for whoever does so of being punished in Catalan elections; calling another repeat election following the enormous dumpster fire the acting prime minister has set off for his personal vanity; or the arrival on the scene of some white knight who can put together the confusion of pacts anticipated. In Madrid, one name has already been brought up in the inner sanctums of power: Felipe González. Who, by the way, is staying quiet.

It's obvious that Pedro Sánchez has tipped the Spanish left into a worse electoral situation than it had after April's election: PSOE is down (2) and Unidas Podemos is down (7), only compensated by the three seats obtained by the minuscule party of Íñigo Errejón, Más País. The three parties together would hypothetically total 158 seats, 18 short of an absolute majority. But more than that, with his irresponsibility, he's allow Vox to emerge as a great force in Spanish politics with 52 seats (getting the most votes, for example, in Murcia) and third place on the podium. The good news is the pulverisation of Ciudadanos, who are left with only ten of the 57 seats they had. Rivera, who initially said he wouldn't resign, becomes an anecdote in Spanish politics. In Catalan politics, where the political corpses are piling up, they're left at the tail end of the Congress benches, with just two of the 48 seats up for grabs and none in Lleida, Girona or Tarragona.

On the right, PP, Vox and Cs, their total result is a meagre improvement by three seats, ending up on 150. A result which doesn't let them play any other roles than as alarmists and make life impossible for Pedro Sánchez, who is facing a tremendously complicated legislature. The transfer of voters from Ciudadanos to Vox clarifies the political situation on the right, since the far right has found its natural party and doesn't need such a broad church.

All that being said, the key to Spanish politics is going to remain Catalonia and the pro-independence parties. The results of Esquerra Republicana (13)Junts per Catalunya (8) and CUP (2) guarantee them a blocking minority, if that's the strategy, and also impose a political negotiation to enable Sánchez's investiture. Although it's certain they haven't achieved their objective, 50% of the seats in play, they were only one away. The three pro-independence parties have reason to be satisfied: ERC holds onto first place in Catalonia, although down two seats; JxCat gains one, and CUP enters with two. In any case, it's been made clear that offering their votes in exchange for nothing isn't a choice that's going to pay off for them and that the role of the independence movement in the Congress should fit the Catalan agenda.

And a detail for the controversy: Carles Puigdemont's party regains first place in Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, a Barcelona neighbourhood symbolic of the Catalan bourgeoisie. They must be votes, in part, for the vilified Catalan interior minister, Miquel Buch; at times, you lose sight of the fact that the party of order also has voters.