Catalan separatist parties are on track to win most seats in the new regional parliament, setting the stage for more confrontation with Spain’s government.
However the Citizens party, which wants Catalonia to remain a semi-autonomous part of Spain, is the biggest party.
As a result, it is unclear who will be given the right to form a government.
The Madrid government stripped Catalonia of its autonomy and called the election after declaring an October independence referendum illegal.
With more than 95% of votes counted, Citizens (Cs) had 25%, winning 36 seats in the 135-seat chamber.
But the pro-independence parties Together for Catalonia, Republican Left of Catalonia and Popular Unity were together on course to win a total of 70 seats, giving them a majority.