The Malta Independent 13 June 2024, Thursday
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Bitter sweet victory: The unhappy comments below Labour candidate celebration posts

Sunday, 9 June 2024, 16:38 Last update: about 4 days ago

It was a bitter sweet victory for the Labour Party, and this could be seen by the reaction on social media and also the contained celebrations in front of the party headquarters, where leader Robert Abela addressed supporters for a few minutes.

Labour did win the election, obtaining more votes than the Nationalist Party, but the victory was achieved with a much smaller advantage that Labour was used to in the last decade or so, and the possibility of losing a seat to the PN is real.

The photo above, of the garbled Labour Party flag outside the Gharghur club, probably epitomises the general feeling.

Labour supporters also aired their apparent dissatisfaction with the Labour government despite having won the most votes. Amidst much praise, hurt comments were also present.

Below candidates’  ‘victory posts’ on Facebook, Labourites questioned if the European election’s results were a victory at all, with some calling it “artificial” whilst others denied the fact saying this was no Labour win with the predicted equal PL and PN chairs and the gap of 15,000 voters, a loss of 27,000 votes in two years. On the other hand, other supports claimed that the “inner circle” won, not Malta, and that from tomorrow the Labour Party will “steamroll” over the people once again.

Some Labourites saw this as an urgent wake up call for the Labour Party for them to start listening to its supporters once again, to go down to the people’s level “as in Joseph Muscat’s time”. They feel that they have been ignored, specifically in “rural villages”, or “used for their vote”. Others called for “burning” Labour issues to be addressed.

The Labourites asked for the party to look after them and reiterated a number of times that the Labourites are “hurt”. One comment said, “The people need an answer if they can be helped [by government] and, if not, explain why”.

Certain ministers seemed to have garnered the blame for this discontent with supporters telling them to stop “abusing their power” and looking down on their constituents whilst others claimed that they remained unheard and ignored by government officials. Meanwhile, others said that ministers are taking the people for a ride, “You have lost all credibility.”

Some supporters called the results a “strong protest” and warned of an upcoming “disastrous” general election. In sum, “There is much to be done that cannot be ignored again.”

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