Pro-independence parties win the Catalan regional election

Pro-independence parties won an absolute majority of seats in the elections for the regional parliament of Catalonia, but just under half the votes. The poll was cast by Artur Mas, the Catalan Prime Minister, as a plebiscite on setting up an independent republic, which he said he now felt legitimated to roll out over the next 18 months, setting him on a collision course with Madrid that has denied a Scotland-style referendum as there is no provision for it in the constitution. Secession is illegal under Spanish law.