The latest poll results will not make comforting reading for the leader of the movement for independence in Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont. Catalonia’s independence push could suffer a serious setback in elections this month, according to a poll published on Sunday, which suggests separatist parties will narrowly fail to secure a majority in the regional parliament. So, where would that leave the "president" in exile?

The international and European arrest warrant for him has been dropped but should he poke as much as a toe into Spain, he will be arrested on the spot. Campaigning from his bolt hole in Belgium may not be proving as easy as he thought and it could turn around to bite him on the "derriere" while giving the Partido Popular a great deal of smug satisfaction.

What is more, unionist parties combined are also seen as falling short of an absolute majority, the poll finds, opening the door to a possible hung parliament with CatComu-Podem, the Catalan arm of the anti-austerity Podemos party, as a potential kingmaker - probably not what anybody expected.

But it would come as a blow to Puigdemont who has been enjoying the spotlight and parading around as though the election result was a foregone conclusion. Independence is a lovely utopia, but as the time of the vote nears, many Catalans will be sensibly thinking about their futures.