Counting is under way after record numbers voted in Catalonia’s regional election, called by Spain following a controversial independence referendum.

The snap election pits Catalan pro-independence parties against those who want the region to remain a semi-autonomous part of Spain.

One exit poll suggested that separatist parties would win a majority.

A BBC correspondent says there seems little prospect that the election will solve Catalonia’s political crisis.

The exit poll said the separatist Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and the unionist Citizens (Cs) were neck and neck in the race to become the biggest party in the new parliament.

Spain dismissed the separatist Catalan government in October after declaring the referendum to be illegal.

The Spanish daily El Pais said on its front page that one million undecided voters could have the last word on Thursday.

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