The Malta Independent 13 June 2024, Thursday
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Women candidates at the EP elections: Metsola dominates, the rest lag sorely behind

Semira Abbas Shalan Monday, 10 June 2024, 11:26 Last update: about 3 days ago

Sunday’s counting day saw the Nationalist Party’s lead candidate Roberta Metsola smash the previous record for the highest votes ever received by a woman during a European Parliament election with 87,473 first count votes, yet the very few women who contested in this election fared much worse.

Out of the total of nine women who contested, Metsola, by far, got the best results. She alone got 80% of the PN vote, a record of first-count votes in Malta’s electoral history. Metsola was the only woman elected on Sunday, with all the other five elected MEPs being men.

The previous record for the highest amount of first count votes for a single candidate was Simon Busuttil’s tally of 68,782 votes in the 2009 MEP election as he was elected for the PN. With the estimated quota being 37,180 votes, Metsola has received over double the quota.

The elected MEPs are: Roberta Metsola, Alex Agius Saliba, Peter Agius, David Casa, Daniel Attard and Thomas Bajada, resulting in the PN reclaiming the third seat, with a whopping vote gap of 8,454 votes between the two major parties.

On the PL’s side, candidate Claudette Abela Baldacchino did better than fellow Marija Sara Vella Gafa – the only two women contesting for the PL, garnering 9,301 votes on the first count. Vella Gafa trailed far behind with just 3,442 first count votes.

Criticism over Labour not having strong women candidates was directed to the party during its electoral campaign.

Abela Baldacchino also did better than fellow candidates Clint Azzopardi Flores, Jesmond Bonello and Jesmond Marshall, with the last two performing the least for Labour, with just 858 and 685 first count votes respectively.

Abela Baldacchino also inherited 4,187 votes from the PL’s leading candidate Alex Agius Saliba, and inherited more from others, before losing out on the third seat by 554 votes, trailing behind the popular Thomas Bajada, and was eliminated last.

Vella Gafa had been eliminated on the 28th count with a total of 5,245 votes.

The PN had more balance than Labour in terms of female candidates, with four contesting on the PN’s ticket. However, three of them lagged very behind Metsola’s record votes.

Candidate Norma Camilleri placed fifth in first count votes for the PN, receiving 1,132 first count votes, and was eliminated on the 27th count with 3,964.

Louise Anne Pulis received just 657 votes on the first count and was eliminated on the 24th count with 1,896 votes, followed by Miriana Calleja Testaferrata De Noto with the least performance for the PN, receiving 460 first count votes, and was eliminated on the 21st count with 1,130 votes.

ADPD chair Sandra Gauci was eliminated on the 26th count with 3,603 votes, after receiving just 2,162 first count votes.

ADPD’s Rachelle Deguara was eliminated on the 15th count with 369 votes, after receiving 286 first count votes.

For Partit Abba, candidate Tania Gauci Fiorini actually got the highest amount of votes, with 307 on the first count, higher than the party’s recently-resigned former leader Ivan Grech Mintoff received, with just 220 first count votes.

Gauci Fiorini was ultimately eliminated on the 16th count with 468 votes.

Overall, male candidates did far better than female candidates in the 2024 European Parliament election, and there were no female independent candidates, aside from the women contesting on an independent party’s ticket.

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