So what happens next? After the dust settles from Sunday's elections, widely forecast to return a pro-independence majority to the regional parliament, where does Catalonia go?
Angels Folch, a national co-ordinator of the hugely effective Assemblea Nacional Catalana (ANC), the grassroots association that organised September's 1.5 million-strong independence march, is fairly sure how things will pan out.
"We are confident of the outcome – independence," says Folch, a retired primary school teacher. "We have talked at length and in detail with all the main political parties in the regional parliament except the People's party [of the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy], which refused.
"And we are certain that those who dissolved the last parliament are absolutely sincere in their intention to give Catalonian citizens the right to vote and determine their own future. They will see this through."
Quite how the process advances will depend in large part on how Spainreacts, Folch says. "Madrid will not just say: 'You cannot vote.' It will try everything in its power to prevent it. So it may be that the Catalan parliament will have to take its responsibilities."
Folch believes the new parliament could have the legitimacy to declare independence as it stands, since two-thirds of the parties set to be elected are standing on platforms pledging support for self-determination. But if not, parliament can be dissolved again and new elections called on the explicit issue of independence.
"Then that new parliament will vote and declare independence," Folch says. "There would probably also be a follow-up referendum, a plebiscite, maybe two or three years later, allowing the people to say that yes, this is what they wanted."