The Malta Independent 22 September 2019, Sunday

Official results: Labour Party wins EP election by 42,600 votes; PL gets 4 seats, PN 2 seats

Sunday, 26 May 2019, 06:38 Last update: about 5 months ago

The European Parliament elections were held on Saturday, and the Labour Party won another landslide victory.

Six of the 41 candidates who contested were elected to represent Malta in the EP for the next five years.

The Labour Party has handsomely won the election, winning by more than 42,600 votes. The PL won four of the six seats. The MEPs elected were Miriam Dalli, Alfred Sant, Alex Agius Saliba and Josianne Cutajar from the PL, and Roberta Metsola and David Casa from the PN. Dalli and Metsola were both elected on the first count. The final count was issued in the early hours of the morning, and The Malta Independent was the only media house on site at the time.

3.50am: The Labour Party's official victory margin is far smaller than originally believed. While throughout the day the margin was said to reach 51,600 votes, this did not end up being the case when the official results emerged after 3am.

The Labour Party had a 42,656 vote majority over the Nationalist Party. This is still a historic vote, and the largest amount of votes the PL has acquired in an election led by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

The PL received 141,267 votes, the PN received 98,611 votes, Imperium Europa received 8,238 votes, PD received 5,276 votes, AD received 1,866 votes, AB received 1,186 votes, Moviment Patrijotti Maltin received 771 votes, Brain Not Ego received 323 votes, and Independent candidates received 2,674 votes. There were 9,810 invalid votes.

3.30am: Miriam Dalli (PL), Roberta Metsola (PN), Alfred Sant (PL), David Casa (PN), Alex Agius Saliba (PL) and Josianne Cutajar (PL) were elected in that order. Delays ran well into the night, with the result being issued at once in the early hours of the morning. 

Miriam Dalli was re-elected on the very first count with 63,438 votes. Roberta Metsola was also elected on the very first count with 38,206 votes. The quota was 37,174 votes.

Alfred Sant was then elected on the 14th count. David Casa was next, being elected on the 38th count. Both Alex Agius Saliba and Josianne Cutajar were elected on the 39th count, with neither of them reaching the quota but ending up with 35,823 votes and 32,235 votes respectively. A source within the Electoral Commission said that the automatic inheritance of votes tallied up perfectly with that of the political parties'calculation systems.

Dalli's first count votes are a Labour party (not national) record in the MEP elections, with Alfred Sant having obtained the most first count votes for the PL up until this  back in 2014 (with 48,739 vote). 

11pm: While the Electoral Commission has yet to officially release any results, PL Chief electoral Officer Louis Gatt has. Miriam Dalli has been elected according to official results as at 11am, he said. The Electoral Commission are still checking some votes but from the total first count vote results given to the parties, Miriam Dalli will pass the quota.

Miriam Dalli, he said, received 51,000 first count votes so far.

Alfred Sant has 21,300 first count votes so far, Alex Agius Saliba has 15,000 and Josianne Cutajar has 12,900 he said. Those are the top four candidates from the PL camp.  From the PN, he said, Roberta Metsola has 30,900 first count votes and David Casa has 16,700. These two, he said, are the two PN frontrunners.

10pm: The sorting and scanning of votes has taken longer than expected. The political parties are still to come to a conclusion, together with the Electoral Commission, on the so-called dubious votes. The original time for the publication of the official result was at 11pm, but this has been put back by a few hours.

8pm: Although no official result is as yet known, it is certain that Miriam Dalli is set to be the first to be elected. She is expected to obtain more than 60,000 first count preferences.

7.30pm: Tables 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 and 11 (there are a total of 13 tables) are done from scanning. More than 200,000 of the 269,855 votes have been scanned, with the number of invalid votes climbing to 5,633.

6.15pm: Adrian Delia arrives at the counting hall. He answers media questions before personally greeting party agents behind the perspex.

5.55pm: Nationalist Party Leader Adrian Delia said that the party must learn from the result of the election, but says that the party will not lose heart. The party must meet more people and understand their needs.

5.35pm: Alternattiva Demokratika thanks voters who voted for party.

5.30pm: The Labour Party media is indicating that PL obtained 55.9%, with the PN getting 36.2%, a 19.7% difference - 51,600 votes.

5.20pm: The scanning of votes has passed the halfway mark. Screens in the counting hall show that the number of votes cast is set as 269,855, with over 140,000 votes already scanned. The number of invalid votes is at nearly 4,000, which is nearly 2.85% of the votes cast. In 2014 the total number of invalid votes as 4,737 (2.2%), in 2009 5,870 (2.3%) and in 2004 4,969 (2%).

4.50pm: The latest projections show that the Labour Party victory is bigger than what PM Joseph Muscat anticipated. Muscat said the victory was of 48,000, but the latest projections show that the win could be by up to 51,000 votes, confirming Labour's biggest win in history and the PN's heaviest defeat.

4.45pm: Posters with the words "We deserve better" have been stuck on the doors of Nationalist Party clubs.

3.15pm: Incumbents Roberta Metsola, Alfred Sant and Miriam Dalli are expected to retain their seats.

2.30pm: Partit Demokratiku thanked the voters “who voted for us at yesterday's European Parliament election and we are humbled by those voters who share our vision”.

2pm: Muscat says that he hopes that the two PN MEPs would work with Labour. "We are ready to work with you as long as you are ready to work with us".

1.55pm: Addressing a mass rally, PM Muscat said that Labour's victory is bigger than originally thought, as the margin has grown to 48,000, or 56% of the votes. Muscat said that it is the victory of unity. He says that Labour will elect four MEPs.

1.35pm: Labour Party supporters have gathered in front of the PL headquarters to celebrate their victory. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is expected to attend.

1.30pm: PD MP Marlene Farrugia, in a Facebook post, said that counting the number of people who did not vote, she is pleased that "there is a majority" that does not accept Joseph Muscat.

1.20pm: In a Facebook post, the Labour Party has said that the margin of victory between the PL and PN in this election is more than 18%.

12.35pm: Many candidates are not at the counting hall, including Alfred Sant from Labour, Roberta Metsola and David Casa of the PN, all of whom have been an MEP in the last five years. Other candidates such as Felix Busuttil, Cyrus Engerer, Frank Psaila and David Stellini have also been absent from the counting hall this morning.

12.01pm: PN deputy leader Robert Arrigo says that the PN expected a bigger defeat.

11.57am: The PL chief electoral officer Louis Gatt says that one needs to be cautious on the fourth seat for Labour, as this depends on the transfer of votes.

11.43am: Voters gave their support agter PL delivered what it promised, Labour PR chief Aleander Balzan said.

11.30am: With Labour obtaining 55% of the votes, the PN obtaining 38%, the rest of the votes, 7%, are distributed among the smaller parties and independent candidates.

11.18am: Speaking on One News, Muscat said that this is a victory for unity and not for division. He said this win gives the party more vigour to continue working in the best interests of the country. Muscat said that this victory exceeds the largest victory ever that had been obtained by Labour under PM Paul Boffa before Independence. Labour, in 1947, had won by 44,104 votes, with a 59.9%.

11.15am: The counting hall erupted soon after the PM's words, with Labour agents and candidates chanting songs and banging the perspex as a sign of victory.

11.13am: Prime Minister Joseph Muscat says on PBS that Labour has obtained 55% of the votes according to the projections, meaning a 45,000 margin over the PN, or a 17% difference from the PN. The PM says that the people voted in a very clear way. He says that this is a historic victory. It is clear that the Labour Party has won its fourth seat.

11.05am: PBS now naying that another sample of votes is showing a 45,000 margin, but the parties are still to officially pronouce themselves.

10.50am: Unofficial results show a Labour win by a 54,000 margin, PBS said, later clarifying that some sites are saying 50,000.

10.45am: Scanning of votes continues. The process to scan the votes appears efficient and fast. Dubious votes are being checked on screens by party agents and the Electoral Commission.

10.35am: The scanning of votes shows normal patterns as in previous elections, with some voters choosing to move from one party to another, others opting to choose a selection of candidates from the same party without voting for them all, while others simply chose to vote for just one candidate.

10.10am: Parties still taking sampling from the different boxes in a bid to establish more accurate projections. Indications continue to show a massive Labour victory.

10.02am: PN secretary general Clyde Puli says the low turnout in traditionally strong PN districts is highly indicative of a PL victory. There were surveys in the past that showed that the PN would have lost by 88,000 votes.

9.54am: Scanning of votes has started as seen in video below. 

9.49am: Minister Chris Fearne says on PBS that the quota for candidates to be elected to be around 33,000-34,000

9.45am: Sorting continues as party agents tick boxes to be able to allow parties to come up with their projections.

9.35am: Sorting of votes has started.

9.25am: Social Policy Minister Michael Falzon tells PBS that it is clear that Labouir has an absolute majority of votes.

9.12am: PN deputy leader David Agius expresses concern about the low turnouts in tradiotnally PN stronholds.

9.10am: Sorting of votes is expected to start shortly, more than two hours later than predicted by the Electoral Commission.

8.50am: Unofficial indications show that Labour are likely to have obtained close to 56% of the votes cast.

8.35am: There’s been a decrease in the turnout – at least in terms of percentages – in each and every district across the country when compared to the last MEP elections in 2014.  The highest decrease though was registered in the tenth district, with yesterday’s turnout standing at 58.90% when compared to 67.02% five years ago.  The third district also saw a substantial decrease, now standing at 69.77% from 75.02% in 2014.

8.25am: Labour deputy leader Chris Fearne would not confirm the unofficial figures of Labour's victory, saying that the counting of votes is still to start.

8.20am: The Electoral Commission has raised the official turnout to 72.6%, including the voters who had voted before polling day.

8.05am: Electoral agents from both the Labour Party and Nationalist Party seem to agree on one thing - that Labour's victory could exceed the 50,000 margin. If this turns out to be correct, then it will be another record win for Labour. In the EP elections of 2014, Labour had won by over 33,000 votes.

8.02am: The second target set, 8am, for the sorting of votes to begin has come and gone but the sorting process has not yet started.

7.30am: The turnout in local council elections has also been published and may be found here

7.25am: Labour Party election agents are containing their euphoria as they are all expecting another massive win.

7.20am: The Electoral Commission has just published the official turnout. It stands at 70.1%, down from 74.8% in the 2014 election. The figures show, as indicated earlier, that the lowest turnouts were experience in PN strongholds, in particular the 10th and 12 district, both of which registered less than 60% of votes cast. The biggest turnout was in the sixth district, at 75.62%, followed by the seventh on 75.3%.

 

For the sake of reference, these are the localities that form Malta’s 13 electoral districts.

District 1: Valletta, Floriana, Hamrun, Marsa, Pieta, Santa Venera

District 2: Birgu, Isla, Bormla, Zabbar, Kalkara, Xghajra, part of Fgura

District 3: Zejtun, Ghaxaq, Marsaskala, Marsaxlokk

District 4: Gudja, Paola, Santa Lucija, Tarxien, part of Fgura

District 5: Birzebbuga, Kirkop, Mqabba, Qrendi, Safi, Zurrieq, Hal-Farrug

District 6: Qormi, Siggiewi, Luqa

District 7: Zebbug, Dingli, Mgarr, Mtarfa, Rabat

District 8: Balzan, Birkirkiara, Iklin, Lija

District 9: Gharghur, Msida, San Gwann, Swieqi, Ta’ Xbiex

District 10: Gzira, Pembroke, St. Julian’s, Sliema, part of Naxxar

District 11: Mdina, Attard, Mosta, Burmarrad

District 12: Mellieha, St. Paul’s Bay, part of Naxxar

District 13: Gozo

7.15am: Nationalist MP Hermann Schiavone has written on Facebook that there is a probability of a "huge" win for Labour as there was a low turnout in PN stronholds.

7am: Sorting continues at the counting hall as activity starts to pick up with the arrival or more party agents. The unofficial indications continue to show that there was a lower turnout, especially in the northern districts, those where the Nationalist Party have the bigger chunk of the electorate.

6.30am: The sorting of the votes cast in the European Parliament elections is not expected to start before 8am, that is one hour later than the Electoral Commission had indicated in pre-election press conferences.

6am: The commission had said that the sorting was to start at 7am, but the arrivals of ballot boxes and their opening did not go as smoothly as expected, pushing the sorting of votes by at least one hour.

The commission is also still to publish the official turnout in these elections.

In other elections, the official turnout was issued just one hour after polling booths closed at 10pm, but until Sunday morning at 6.30am the official figure was not released.

Indications are that the number of eligible voters who cast their preferences is lower than the 2014 turnout.

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