Following last Sunday's inconclusive meeting of CUP delegates to decide whether to support Artur Mas as President of the Catalan Government, a second meeting has been held today, and the answer is No.
What might this mean? There are several possibilities.
The basic arithmetic in the 135 member parliament is this:
Junts pel Sí (CDC and ERC) ... 62
CUP ... 10
Catalunya Sí que es Pot (Podemos, Green and EUiA) ... 11
PSC ... 16
PP ... 11
Cs ... 11
• The first possibility is that Artur Mas gets support (or that there are abstentions) from an unexpected source. It would be impossible to imagine the three Spanish unionist parties doing anything but voting against Mas. But it is possible that either one or two CUP members could be ... err ... persuaded, or one or two from Catalunya Sí que es Pot.
But it's only a possibility. CUP's objections to Mas centre on him being too right wing, and CSQP would have exactly the same objections. So I doubt that this will happen.
• The second, and to me most obvious, possibility is for Artur Mas to stand down as a candidate for President, and for someone else to stand instead. As I said in this post several months ago, this could be a figurehead President, with actual power in the hands of, say, two or three vice-Presidents ... and Mas could be one of these.
In essence, this would not be very different from the proposal that Junts pel Sí have already made, namely "a collegiate presidency composed of a President of the government and three government commissions".
• The third possibility is for there to be fresh elections.
This third option is the one that is generating most headlines, but I'd urge people to be wary of jumping to this conclusion for that reason. It's wishful thinking, because there is nothing the Spanish Unionist parties would want more than to get rid of the current pro-independence majority in the Catalan Parliament.
So the ball is in Junts pel Sí's court. They would have to be confident that new elections (probably in March) would result in another pro-independence majority. If they fail to get it, then Catalan independence will be put back by at least four or five years ... and who knows how the world will change in that time? But, on the other hand, if they do call it and win they might well get not only a majority of seats but a majority of the vote too.
As things stand, Catalunya is already on course for independence within about two years, with easily enough pro-independence MPs to carry all the necessary legislation through parliament. I don't see why they would want to put this at risk.