Labour victory, not quite an historic vote record, but close

Miguela Xuereb

Labour’s victory in the European Elections wasn’t quite the historic record it was presented as.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat declared that the Labour Party had won over 50,000 votes in the election, with projections hitting the dizzying heights of 51,500 or 51,600 according to some media outlets.

This number had latterly been revised down to a 42,656 votes in favour of the Labour Party compared to the Nationalist Party in Saturday’s elections.

Had the initial estimate been correct, it would’ve exceeded the election victory of the Labour Party in 1947, when then leader Paul Boffa managed to open a margin of 44,104 against the Nationalists.

The recent result is just over 1,000 less than Labour’s record (1,488), it sits as the party’s second highest score which follows behind the 2017 and 2013 General Elections which saw more than 35,000 votes clear of the Nationalists (35,280 and 35,127 respectively).

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According to the electoral records, another clear margin by the PL was achieved in 1955. The party won the election with 19,933 votes. Looking at the rest of Malta’s General Elections since 1947, the PL have managed to pull of victories with a vote share of between 4,000 and 7,500 votes higher than the PN. Compared to the Nationalist Party, the PL has only been in parliament 8 times since the party was formed in 1921.

The Nationalists have not managed to hit the same level of vote records their counterparts hold but their margins are not consistent. The 1950 and 2008 elections were very tight. According to the figures the former election was won by 1099 votes, while the latter was passed by 1580.

The 1981 and 1987 elections represented slightly larger margins, over just over 4,000 votes, (4,142 and 4,785 votes respectively). The 1998 and 2003 elections increased the margin further with a margin of just over 12,000 votes.