The Spanish government appears to be edging towards victory in the dispute over Catalonia and unless there is a major upset in the election there next month, then the crisis is effectively over. The parties who favour independence appear to have lost support while the unionist political parties have gained support at their expense, meaning that Madrid could get the outcome in December it so badly wants: victory by pro-union parties. The pro-independence movement appears to be in complete disarray; leaders have been imprisoned and other have left the country. Also, it looks unlikely that the pro-independence block will be formed again.

If everything goes to plan for Madrid, then it will be a major victory for Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. He will have fought off the push for independence head-on and won. Catalonia is split down the middle, with those who support a breakaway and those who want to stay part of Spain, having equal standing in the polls. But recent events appear to have strengthened the unionist cause and this is what is being reflected by the opinion polls at the moment.

Calling the elections was a brave move by Rajoy; victory by the pro-independence parties would have put him back to square one. But the tide appears to be turning. I have said in this space on numerous occasions that I am not in favour of some of the bully-boy tactics which have been used by Madrid, but Rajoy is set for victory.