Pro-independence parties in Spain's Catalonia region have won an absolute majority in regional elections, near complete results show, reports the BBC.
With more than 90% of the votes counted, the main separatist alliance and a smaller party won 72 seats in the 135-seat regional parliament.
They said earlier a majority would allow them to declare independence from Spain unilaterally within 18 months.
The central government in Madrid has pledged to block such moves in court.
With nearly 94% of the votes counted, the "Junts per Si" ("Together for Yes") won 62 seats, while the far-left separatist CUP party is expected to secure 10 mandates.
"We have won," Catalan regional President Artus Mas told his cheering supporters late on Sunday. After a celebration rally, the pro-independence camp's leaders said that they would now proceed towards the creation of an independent Catalan state.
The pro-independence parties said ahead of the vote that they considered it a de facto referendum on independence from Spain.
They argue that the Spanish government has consistently refused to allow a legally recognised referendum to take place, ignoring an unofficial vote backing independence in November 2014.