Everyone appears to be talking about the same thing in Spain at the moment -Catalonia - and I am quite amazed at the mixed views many Spaniards have on the topic. I think you can divide public opinion into three groups. There are the Spanish hardliners who believe that the army should be sent in and home rule withdrawn from Catalonia. There are the hardline Catalan nationalists who want a breakaway, but then there is the third group which could either make or break the Catalan cause.

Before the referendum on Sunday the majority of this third group were deeply opposed to Catalan independence and felt that the Spanish government should just simply say no to the breakaway. But opinions were changed on Sunday as a result of the police action. Many were outraged at alleged police heavy-handed tactics and they blamed the Spanish government for mishandling the whole situation. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has to be exceptionally careful with this group because they can decide the outcome of Catalonia and whether or not his government continues.

Rajoy is looking for all-party support to basically declare Catalonia a rogue province and withdraw its home rule. But he won't do this alone. He needs support both from his political rivals and the Spanish people. His government is in danger of falling and unless he acts carefully he could find that Catalonia will be his Waterloo.