quote: Catalonia vote: Early exit polls show region may be on road to independence Catalans may have set their region on the road to independence as early analysis suggested they had handed their separatist leader a mandate to push for a break with Spain.
quote: During weeks of campaigning the region has filled with Catalan national flags in a wave of separatist sentiment.
By 6pm, some 56 per cent of the 5.2 million eligible voters had visited the ballot box, some 8 points higher than in the last regional election two years ago.
"This is an historic moment," said Jordi Casas, 24, as he cast his vote at a polling booth in Barcelona. "The time has come to say 'enough'. Madrid doesn't represent our interests and now we want the chance to decide our own future."
Victor Valdes Carles Puyol Xavi Hernandez Sergio Busquets Gerard Pique Cesc Fabregas