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So was Catalonia's election good or bad for separatists?

Oddly, both these ledes cover the same event.

The New York Times:

BARCELONA, Spain — Voters in Catalonia delivered victory to separatist parties in a regional election on Sunday, raising the likelihood that Spain’s most powerful economic region will hold an independence referendum that Madrid has vowed to block.

Reuters:

  Separatists in Catalonia won a large majority in regional elections but a poor result for the biggest Catalan nationalist party will complicate a push for a referendum on independence from Spain.

So is the referendum now more likely or less likely? 

The consensus seems to be closer to the Reuters version. Four pro-independence parties now dominate the regional parliament, but the ruling CiU party of President Artur Mas lost 12 seats. The CiU is center-right on social and economic issues, while the big gainer of the election -- the Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya -- favors independence from a left-wing position. The two parties have not worked well together in the past. 

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was crowing over his rival's humiliation yesterday, telling El Mundo, "I've never seen such a ruinous political operation as Mas's." But given the overall anti-establishment mood of Catalonia's electorate, he probably shouldn't get too comfortable. 

Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

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