Catalonia decides today at the polls its future in a political context very different from the 2021 elections. The advance of the electoral call on March 13 as a result of the impossibility of the Government of Pere Aragonès to push forward the budgets for this year he started a campaign in which independence has ceased to be a core issue for all parties, including the pro-independence ones, and in which the Amnesty law, which will be approved this month in Congress has not had any prominence. Not even the parties that oppose head-on and with thick words the criminal oblivion in Madrid have made this matter a casus belli. Contrast the situation in the Upper House, with heated debates in the amnesty committees, with the few references that have been made throughout the campaign.

The parties are playing their role today in the Catalunya post-process. According to the polls, the socialist Salvador Illa could win but find himself in the situation of not being able to form a government, like in 2021, while the pro-independence parties could lose the absolute majority, something that would be unprecedented in Catalan politics and would consolidate the change in the direction of Catalan society, more concerned with “food stuff”.

In recent days there has been a polarization between the PSC and Junts. The former president and candidate of the post-convergence formation, Carles Puigdemont, has campaigned from the south of France. He lacked time to run the electoral race he had wanted, but that was not an obstacle to fill, one day and the next, coaches heading to his meetings in Algiers.

It is more complicated for President Pere Aragonès to reissue the results of 2021, when he almost tied with the Socialists and was slightly ahead of Junts. For ERC it is essential to beat Junts, a result that no survey predicts. The republicans have not been able to take advantage of the work of management in the Generalitat, but even so they may hold the key to governability. Everything will depend on the difference in votes that separates Illa and Puigdemont, who the polls place as first and second on the electoral podium.

In the historical results of the Catalan elections, the socialists have been able to govern when ERC has decided to support them. This is what happened with Pasqual Maragall and José Montilla. Will the same happen this time? Without results in hand, it is difficult to unravel what the possible pacts will look like. Aragonès has not wanted to get wet about whether he rules out Illa or Puigdemont and has preferred to link the subsequent agreements to the acceptance of his main proposals. But, when the case comes, he will have to make a decision, one way or another. If he does not, the deadlock situation will be inevitable, and the possibility of a repeat election, a reality.

Also at the bottom of the table there is a fight for survival. The polls assume that Ciutadans will not enter Parliament and point to a strong rise for the PP, which could rise to fourth place in the parliamentary representation. That’s why he has to beat Vox and it’s not clear that he can do it. The competition between the right-wing parties for the same political space has been another of the particularities of this campaign.

The more than probable irruption of Aliança Catalana on the scene cannot be overlooked. If it enters Parliament, Catalonia, always innovating, would have the presence in its legislative chamber of two far-right parties. This week, the PSC, ERC, Junts, Comuns and the CUP signed an agreement by which they undertook not to sign alliances with Vox or with the formation led by the mayor of Ripoll, Sílvia Orriols.

It can be said that this has been a calm campaign, without tension and, perhaps for this reason, it has seemed strange, even boring, to many citizens accustomed to the nuances of Catalan politics. The race started a day earlier with Pedro Sánchez’s threat to resign and for five days the campaign was on hold, more dependent on what was happening in Madrid than what the candidates were saying in their rallies.

These elections are being played in Catalonia, but also in Madrid, as an appetizer to the European elections on June 9. This is why Alberto Núñez Feijóo, Pedro Sánchez or Santiago Abascal have been very present throughout these last 15 days. The President of the Spanish Government has linked his future – that of 9-J – to Illa and, although this may make it difficult to reach an agreement with Junts or ERC in Congress, he has prioritized the push for a victory in Catalonia thinking of the European For its part, the PP needs stability and growth in Catalonia if it wants to reach Moncloa. The general elections of July 23 of last year made it clear that the populists have difficulty reaching the central government if they continue to play a secondary role in the Basque Country or Catalonia.

Catalonia has experienced a campaign with many unknowns and tonight some will be clarified, but not all. Long and difficult post-electoral alliance negotiations still remain to be resolved.