Pedro Sanchez goes to the investiture session this Monday, with virtually all the odds on his side, to pass the test either on Tuesday
or Thursday. The agreement with Podemos -programme and Cabinet names is progressing from the enormous initial differences, and neither of the parties speak, at this time, of insurmountable obstacles. They will continue to speak until after the second round of the investiture votes on Thursday, when the enigma of the last months will be revealed, and the elections of the 10th November, discarded -a date marked in red until Pablo Iglesias stepped aside in exchange for leaving Sánchez with no room to maneuver his proposal of a coalition government with a third of Podemos ministers.
The negotiation of the agreement between PSOE and Podemos, and the fact that it has not been reached, has allowed the pro-independence movement to use the weekend to decide on the announcement of their vote. But those precious hours are running out and will disappear completely when the agreement of the Spanish left is formalised. Pedro Sánchez's words asking for a government that does not depend on the pro-independence parties will not be possible because none of the Spanish right wing parties will facilitate deputies, and the Republican Left or Junts per Catalunya, or maybe both, will have to, at least, abstain in the second round of the investiture vote.
The latter two parties are uncomfortable now with less than 48 hours until the first voting; they are worried about the emotional impact of their decision on their grassroots base, and a tiny bit discouraged by the public contempt of the socialist leaders who, far from making gestures conducive to receiving a favorable vote, are publicly exhibiting a cold and distant attitude towards them. However, the are now also far from new Spanish elections, which they were convinced would only bring instability in Spanish politics the same as a government with abysmal differences in economic policy would but, not less, at the time of facing the Catalan conflict.
This is the mother of all the conflicts that are to come, and it should be a sufficient reason for the abstention; this is what ERC broadly asserts, but it is also the position of those who encouraged or facilitated the Diputació de Barcelona's agreement between Junts Per Catalunya and PSC, for instance. In short, ERC, which has fifteen deputies and stands as the sixth party in the Spanish Congress, is in favor of non-blocking (the investiture). Many things would need to change for ERC to be moved from their position, which is enough for Sanchez to go ahead with the investiture. In the ranks of Puigdemont, opinions are more coral, especially supporting the 'no' from the sector closest to Quim Torra. The problem is that a 'no' to Pedro Sánchez could end up in a schism... but who knows if a ‘yes’ could too.