Although Oriol Junqueras' press conference from Soto del Real prison lasted around a hundred minutes, we didn't need so much time to discover that the leader of Esquerra was starring, with his characteristic skill, in the party's great rally of this electoral campaign. A determined and empathetic Junqueras, who used the various rhetorical resources he has available and which make him an almost unique orator, transformed the small cell in Soto del Real into a great television soundstage or into the Sant Jordi palace.
Two key ideas surrounded his comments: his party's willingness, if it comes to it, to vote for Pedro Sánchez, since any European democrat has the duty to block a far-right government, and his conviction that a referendum under agreement with the state is inevitable and that the best path is dialogue. Taking into account that the great majority of the surveys published give him the victory in Catalonia in the election with between 12 and 15 seats, his political position is of enormous importance. A Spanish government after 28th April could depend on ERC or, who knows, even Junts per Catalunya, given how close the result is according to the different results from the polling firms.
That Junqueras shouldn't be in prison is obvious, like the rest of the Catalan political prisoners. The members of the government in exile should also return home. Politics will have something to say about it all during the next Spanish legislature. The complexity of the political pacts could make it inevitable, but various premises have to be met for that, which end up reducing down to two: the three right-wing parties don't have the number of deputies needed, but nor do PSOE and Ciudadanos. This latter equation would end up being enormously dangerous for self-government and a solution to the conflict between Spain and Catalonia.
The pro-independence parties have to strengthen this front if they don't want to end up trapped in the pressure of tactical voting which will inevitably happen in the final straight of the electoral campaign with a PSOE with everything in its favour if it makes no great mistakes. Who knows whether Junqueras with his support to prevent a far-right government has given Sánchez something more than a banana skin at the campaign's midpoint.