On Sunday, Malta stood at a standstill as the Labour Party (PL), although winning the MEP elections, MEP elections, saw its electoral majority slashed for the first time in 10 years.

The final voting count established a gap of just 8,454 votes between the Labour Party and the Nationalist Party (PN).

This marks a stark decrease when compared to a 42,656-vote majority registered in the 2019 MEP elections. Before that, in 2014, Labour won by over 33,677 votes, but the PN’s Therese Comodini Cachia secured the PN’s third seat after an extremely close race.

This electoral result signifies a significant blow to PL which received absolute majority wins for the last decade. During this election, PL won less than 50 per cent of the total votes.

Overall, voting turnout stood at just below 73 per cent with 100,000 registered voters, out of 370,000, who abstained to vote.

This outcome results in equal MEP seating as PL/PN candidates were split three and three for the two parties respectively.

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola and incumbent MEP Alex Agius Saliba, both elected on first count, broke records respectively.

Dr Metsola received 87,473 votes, double the established quota, simultaneously breaking Simon Busuttil’s 68,782-vote record.

Meanwhile, Mr Agius Saliba registered a total of 63,899 votes, a record for the party, and a substantial increase from the 18,808 first count votes he received in 2019. In addition, he also topped Miriam Dalli’s 2019 record of 63,438.

In addition, many voters turned to independent candidate Arnold Cassola, who received 12,706 first preference votes, coming in third after Dr Metsola and Mr Agius Saliba. Despite so, he did not receive enough votes to earn himself a seat at the European Parliament.

Moving forward, the six MEPs representing the Maltese for the upcoming five years are: Daniel Attard (11,703 first count votes), Thomas Bajada (10,792 first count votes) and Mr Agius Saliba representing PL and David Casa (3,683 first count votes), Peter Agius (9,418 first count votes) and Dr Metsola representing PN.

During his first comments following the results, Prime Minister Robert Abela noted that the party had achieved “a solid victory.” At the same time, he acknowledged that “messages were sent,” as a reaction to the reduced majority.

Yesterday’s results were also described as “the best electoral results ever” in the MEP elections by PN’s Secretary General Michael Piccinino and PN Leader Bernard Grech.

Meanwhile, Moviment Graffitti activist Andre Callus, highlighted that to determine the significance of the voting results requires, analysis beyond “the gap between PL and PN” is required.

Mr Callus notes that while PL lost around 23,462 votes, compared to 2019, PN gained 10,740 votes. “While this offers a glimmer of hope after 11 years in the Opposition, and within the context of a major loss in PL voting, the increase remains minimal.”

He notes that PN regained the votes it had in 2014, when it still lost to a majority win.

While noting that it “might still be too early to understand what led to this scenario,” he comments that the Labour Party has spent years “running away from the problems it had created.”

Mr Callus lists environmental degradation, corruption and increased inequality in society – “namely through the rampant expansion of the economy while giving the impression that it benefits everybody.”

In addition, he continues, the events that happened over the past few months “painted the PL in a toxic manner.”

“PL ended up defending ex politicians, strong businessmen and financial professionals – the ultra-privileged of society – from serious accusations in court, even launching a ferocious attack against those who are simply doing their job,” he said.

Mr Callus wraps up his thoughts by stating that his suspicions lead him to believe that the marginal increase gained by the PN is not because people are convinced by its vision, “but because they are scared of PL.”

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