TWO pro-independence parties and one unionist party are in with a shot of winning Catalonia’s December 21 election, according to a new poll published by The National.

The unionists of the Ciutadans (Cs) party, the pro-independence forces of Esquerra (ERC) and the other large pro-independence group, Junts per Catalunya, are all vying for the top spot.

And while unionist parties will not win an absolute majority, pro-independence parties may either fall short by one seat, or have a majority of up to two.

This is according to the results of the second tracking poll from Feedback on the Catalan elections, published by The National.

The National:

We will publish a new poll update every day until December 19 and then two on December 20, the day before the vote.

The sample is based on 1000 interviews. The data collection for this second poll ended on Saturday at 4pm, with the parties now entering the last three days of the campaign. The first tracking poll was published yesterday.

Ciutadans, the unionist party led by Inés Arrimadas, continues in first place, despite a slight fall in its percentage of the vote, with 32-33 seats and 24.06 per cent.

In second place, the ERC, led by imprisoned vice-president Oriol Junqueras, reduced the distance, increasing its expected haul of MPs to 30-31 – although it also falls very slightly in its expected percentage of the vote.

JuntsxCat, led by Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, exiled in Brussels, continues to hold third position, but undergoes a slight drop in support: 27-29 seats and 18.99 per cent of the vote.

The Socialists of the PSC, with Miquel Iceta at the head of their party, are set to finish fourth, improving their predicted haul from the first tracking poll: 19-20 seats and 14.33 per cent.

In fifth place, radical pro-independence left-wing party the CUP continues to rise and can now expect to win 10 representatives and 8.50 per cent of votes.

It is followed in sixth place by the Catalan allies of Pablo Iglesias's Podemos party, Catalunya En Comú-Podem, an alternative left force which backs the holding of a referendum but rejects independence. Their support is stable on 8-9 seats and 7.06 per cent.

Finally, the Partido Popular, party of the Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy, instigator of the intervention in Catalonia's self-government and the sacking of the Catalan Government following the proclamation of independence, continues at the tail end, with 6 seats and 5.65 per cent of the estimated vote.

An absolute majority in the Catalan Parliament requires 68 seats – the chamber has 135 representatives.

The second tracking poll gives the pro-independence parties a total of 67-70 seats and 48.22 per cent of the votes. ERC, JuntsxCat and CUP could thus fall short of an absolute majority by one seat, in the worst case, or achieve it by two seats, in the best scenario.

By contrast, the unionist parties will not win an absolute majority under any scenario. The unionist block of Cs, PSC and PP will obtain 57-59 MPs and 44.04 per cent of the vote.

The voter turnout predicted at the Catalan election, according to the Feedback survey published by The National, is set to hit a historic high – and it is still rising, with an estimated 82.95 per cent in today’s poll. The 2015 election turnout, the current record, was 74.95 per cent.