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Four elections in Spain in the last four years; two prime ministers, Mariano Rajoy and Pedro Sánchez, overwhelmed by the Catalan revolt; a real possibility for the first time that the pro-independence parties will invert the usual Catalan political order in Spanish general elections and obtain a majority of the 48 seats in dispute here; the current acting Spanish PM struggling to shake off the epithet of "Pedro the brief", which has been the exclusive property of Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo for decades; a sense, among electoral sociologists, of another "perfect storm", which was the term they used to define the maelstrom that formed late last year in Andalusia, when the size of the political wave that was about to break was not seen until election night itself.

The independence movement on the rise, the Spanish left slipping back, the right surging again and a scattering of parties - in Cantabria, Teruel, the Canaries, Galicia, and Valencia - that aspire to win one or two seats. This is the tableau that Spanish politics might be displaying on Sunday night, after Pedro Sánchez's gamble - whether suicidal or not, it remains to be seen. It seems unlikely that the corrections he has made to the script in the last day, accentuating the danger of the right and leaving Catalonia in the background, will give him the breathing space he needs to retain the 123 seats he won in April and which he would now be well content with. Some updated surveys released - although not published because that is prohibited - predict a figure as low as 115 deputies, eight fewer than in the last elections. The Spanish left - that is, the PSOE, Unidas Podemos and the handful of seats expected to fall to the new Más País - are in a deadheat with the right - the PP, Vox and Cs - when, back in April, the difference between the two blocks was 23 seats in favor of the Socialists-Podemos binomial.

It is obvious that someone has picked the wrong strategy and that, in situations of crisis, deep crisis, such as that being experienced in Spain, the behaviour of voters may not be so different from what happens all over the world: far from governability being reinforced, in the end the table get kicked over. Independence will have some cards to play if this is what happens - strong cards that could modify situations which have been blocked up till now. A support agreement between the PSOE and PP is in theory not easy, with a political force such as Vox consolidating its growth. And PP leader Pablo Casado has given his word that he will not abstain even if Sánchez needs his votes.

This will open the scenario of a fifth general election which would no longer be suicidal for Sánchez, if he's still there, but for Spain. It will be the moment for the independence movement if it has obtained excellent results and hasn't settled for just using them to make low-profile accords. Now, the Catalan pro-independence parties have 22 out of 48 Catalan seats and the surveys says that ERC, JxCat, and the CUP are going to win between 23 and 26. The Catalan issue tying the hands of Spain's governability until there is dialogue between Spanish and Catalan governments without any red lines, as the voters want. This should be the goal if the results at the ballot box make it a valid one. Break the intransigence and sit down to negotiate.