Election 2022: Out with the old, in with the new

Parliament will look very different in a few weeks’ time as many old-timers, particularly on the Opposition benches, have not managed to retain their seats and some experienced MPs will have to depend on casual elections to make it.

Some new candidates have outperformed expectations, gaining popularity among voters.

PL’s biggest winners and losers

While some former Cabinet members, like Silvio Parnis and Justyne Caruana, had the political foresight during the past legislature to realise that their time was up, others including long-serving Ministers Evarist Bartolo and Jose Herrera had to await last Saturday’s popular verdict to get the point.

By far, the two seasoned politicians and prominent members of Labour’s last Cabinet were the biggest losers on Labour’s side, together with scandal-stricken Rosianne Cutajar, who despite being found guilty of a serious breach of ethics, apart from other scandals, plodded on, and will probably make it through a casual election.

Other senior Cabinet members, who have underperformed or were embroiled in various scandals, including former ministers Silvio Schembri and Clayton Bartolo, still proved very popular among  Labour voters, as gifts and other things were dished out by the two candidates without much consideration of existing electoral rules.

But on Labour’s side, the biggest winners were some of the newcomers.

Apart from a strong vote gained by Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne, who after Robert Abela was the most popular Labour candidate gaining over 12,000 first preference votes on two districts, a relatively unknown candidate, Keith Azzopardi Tanti, the PL’s mayor of Pieta, polled more than 3,700 votes – becoming the most popular candidate on Labour’s 1st district, despite various sitting Ministers including Aaron Farrugia, Deo Debattista and Jose Herrera.

Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri secured his position, polling 6,454 first count preferences as the island was once again the place to be for last-minute political favours and nepotism. However, his former political mentor and district rival Anton Refalo still managed to do very well, although this time around having the agriculture ministry. He polled more than 5,000 first count votes, giving Camilleri a run for his money.

Ian Borg, who has been given millions to spend on new roads in the last administration and is known for micro-managing his constituency, also did well as expected,  surpassing the 5,000 first count votes in the 7th district.

Other strong performers on Labour’s ticket were Ministers Clifton Grima and Miriam Dalli.

PN’s newcomers performed best

Change was definitely the main concern of PN voters as new candidates outperformed many sitting MPs.

Apart from the usual endorsement of the leader, gaining some 15,000 votes in the two districts he contested, Alex Borg became the most popular candidate in one district for the PN, as he polled 6,108 first count votes in the Gozo district, leaving veteran Chris Said miles away.  Borg, a former ‘Mr World Malta’, is closely associated with former Gozo Minister Giovanna Debono as his father was her long-time personal assistant.

Criminal lawyer Joe Giglio, who joined the PN ticket for the first time, also proved to be a popular PN candidate in two traditionally blue districts, gaining a total of almost 10,000 first count votes. In both districts, Giglio managed to outperform the usually very popular former Sliema Mayor Robert Arrigo, despite the latter contesting for the first time as the PN’s deputy leader.

In the sixth district, former Radio 101 presenter Jerome Caruana Cilia proved to be the most popular candidate among all parties, garnering 4,662 first preferences on his first attempt to contest the general elections.

Once again, PN doctor Stephen Spiteri, who has the worst record when it comes to his actual presence in parliament and debates, remained the PN’s darling in traditionally red districts, gaining almost 7,000 votes and being elected from two districts. Veterans like Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici and Jason Azzopardi got dismal results, although in the latter’s case he may still make it to parliament through a casual election.

Other PN ‘oldies’ who polled badly, even though some were still elected, were deputy leader David Agius, Toni Bezzina, Claudette Buttigieg, Maria Deguara and Edwin Vassallo.


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Joseph Micallef
Joseph Micallef
2 years ago

If a candidate breaks electoral rules and even gets elected, what happens? Absolutely nothing! So why are there these rules that one can just don’t give a shit about them and nothing happens to him? Why not these people be disqualified by law from being MP’s? If these persons are ready to break the rules to get elected, isn’t it obvious that they will break the rules once MP’s?

2 years ago

Dan li ser nghid huwa bi prova. Mara ma.kienitx hierga tivcota w qaltilhom miniex sejra. Tawha bi 800 euro affarijiet u marret. Ohra ghalliema talbet favur u qabzet 4 min shabha u marret tivvota ghax qaltilhom l istess li mhux ser tmur tivvota. U bhal dawn kien hemm hafna. Dak huwa l ghaliex l poplu jmur jivvota w ghalhekk l labour success.

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