Catalonia, the rebel region of Spain that declared itself independent, is holding parliamentary elections on Thursday which are seen as a major test for pro-independence politicians and parties.
Polls show the contest between pro-secessionist and unionist (also known as constitutionalist, pro-Spain) parties is too close to call, leading to a possible hung parliament where no one party has a majority.
"It's crucial to look at who will have a majority and it looks like no one will have a proper majority," Borja Lasheras, policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations and the director of the Madrid Office, told CNBC Tuesday.
"You see a very divided society in Catalonia with extremely competing narratives and Catalonia will remain deeply fractured (whatever the result)."
The election comes after a period of quiet following the chaotic and fast-moving scenes in October when the regional government declared independence following a referendum, held in defiance of Spain's attempts to ban the vote, at the start of October.
Political crisis ensued with the Spanish government imposing direct rule on Catalonia, ousting the Catalan president and government and calling fresh elections. What's more, several pro-independence politicians including Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, fled to Belgium when Spain issued a warrant for their arrest on serious sedition charges.
Puigdemont remains in self-imposed exile in Belgium where he has campaigned ahead of the vote. His former deputy, Oriol Junqueras, is contesting the election (as leader of the alliance between the Catalan Republican Left party - the ERC) from prison as he too faces sedition charges and has been refused bail by a judge who feared he would repeat his secessionist activities.