People react as they gather at Plaza Catalunya after voting ended for the banned independence referendum, in Barcelona, Spain October 1, 2017. REUTERS/Susana Vera People react as they gather at Plaza Catalunya after voting ended for the banned independence referendum, in Barcelona, Spain October 1, 2017. REUTERS/Susana Vera

Turnout in Catalonia regional election 34.51 pct at 1200 GMT

Thu, Dec. 21, 2017
MADRID - 21 December 2017: More than a third of Catalans turned up at polling stations in the first four hours of Thursday's high-stakes regional elections in a vote that will be key to deciding the future of Spain's wealthiest region's independence movement.

Turnout of 34.5 percent was registered at 1200 GMT compared to a midday figure of 35.1 percent at the previous election in 2015, the regional government said.

Opinion polls before the vote showed separatists and unionists running neck-and-neck.

More than 5.3 million Catalans are entitled to vote, with the final turnout when polling stations close at 1900 GMT expected to be record-high.

An exit poll from regional newspaper La Vanguardia is expected at about the same time, with the first preliminary results around two hours later and final results after midnight.
 
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