Traditional parties in difficulty as Labour endorsed by less than half voting population

While Labour celebrates its third consecutive victory at the polls, the early crunching of numbers has started and it’s bad news for both Labour and the PN.

While Robert Abela has just been sworn in as Malta’s prime minister for the 14th legislature since independence, his government’s popularity amid the Maltese voting population is only endorsed by less than half of them.

A growing silent majority is consistently sending a message that the two parties are not fit to govern, with the latest amount doubling in just five years reaching almost 60,000 in last Saturday’s elections.

Preliminary analysis by The Shift shows that while Labour won 55.1% of those posting a valid vote last Saturday, against the 41.7% of the PN – an all-time low since 1964 for the blues – reality is knocking on the traditional parties’ doors as they are continuously losing ground with the electorate.

Last Saturday’s vote shows that only 45 out of every 100 eligible voters endorsed Labour, with the rest – a staggering 55% – either voted for the PN or other parties, or more significantly, decided that none of the politicians on offer deserved their vote.

This means that despite Labour’s narrative that the party is almost ‘invincible’, the reality is very different as the party in government only commands the support of less than half of the adult population.

The problem for both the PL and the PN is in fact increasing, as when compared to just five years ago, 2017, those clearly fed up with traditional politics doubled from 31,191 to 59,727.

The numbers show that while almost 163,000 voted for Labour last Saturday, 192,000 did not, making Prime Minister Robert Abela’s decisions in the coming days very difficult as he also needs to convince the majority of voters that did not vote for him that he is doing the right thing to try to either get them on board.

The numbers also show that Robert Abela’s majority, which at face value shows a robust majority, is in fact more vulnerable than his predecessor’s, disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat.

In 2017, out of all eligible voters, Muscat’s Labour Party was endorsed by 50% of all eligible voters against 45% in 2022.

Also, last Saturday’s results show that there are fewer Labourites and Nationalists in the country than five years ago, while the number of voters who do not declare any political affinity is increasing rapidly.

Despite the fact that the number of the eligible voters increased, also with the vote of 16-year-olds, when compared to 2017, Labour lost more than 8,000 votes as it managed to get just 163,000 votes compared to 171,000 in 2017.

The situation for the PN is even worse as they only convinced 123,000 to vote for them last Saturday, decreasing their vote tally by more than 12,000 votes compared to 2017.

The real winner in this election, apart from those who stayed at home are the small parties, which managed to more than double their votes, from a total of 3,993 in 2017 to 9,308 last Saturday.

All this data shows that the traditional political forces need to tread very carefully if they don’t want to detach themselves even further from the electorate.

At the same time, pressure for change in the electoral system is expected to increase as more and more voters are clearly indicating a change in Malta’s ‘traditional’ duopoly.


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Godfrey Leone Ganado
Godfrey Leone Ganado
2 years ago

Excellent analysis.
I have always maintained that our electoral system is undemocratic, and penalises the small parties, making the third party voter, voiceless.
I cannot understand how a party that, on a National basis, gets nearly 3 times the average quota, ends up with no representation in Parliament.

G Mizzi
G Mizzi
2 years ago

Shows that the traditional parties are both in long-term decline, after all. One is in free-fall, the other one going down a steep slope.

Anne Azzopardi
Anne Azzopardi
2 years ago

Prosit. What a detailed analysis. Keep up the good work.

Emanuel G
Emanuel G
2 years ago

Ghandu jkun hemm sistema li bhalha diga’ tezizti f’pajjizi ohra li fejn partit li jkun falla fuq regjun jew fil-kaz taghna distrett, imma nazzjonalment ikun gab certu percentwal, jinghata rapprezentanza parlamentari, biex b’hekk ikun qed jinstema kulhadd kemm jista’ jkun. Iridu jigu determinati il-percentwali u s-sistema. Tajjeb li wiehed jghid li ma nkunu qeghdin nivvintaw xejn gdid ghaliex diga hawn dawn is-sistemi in ezistenza. Car li l-poplu li hu l-iktar xettiku u li ma jhossux marbut ma’ l-ebda partit politiku u li certament la ghandu bzonn lil politici u li wisq inqas ihossu li ghandu ghalfejn joqghod jilghaqhom fil-hajja biex jimxi, din il-politika tradizzjonali ma tappellalux ghaliex fost il-hafna difetti taghha, ta’ kult u hmerijiet, wiehed ihoss li finalment iz-zewg partiti m’huma xejn hlief tandem biex il-gid u t-tregija tal-pajjiz jibqaw dejjem f’idejn l-MLPN biss u li allura wiehed mill-allal foloz tal-partiti u li jbarru kwalunkwe terza forza li tista’ tiskomodalhom l-eziztenza garantita u ghax garantita prattikament dejjem korrotta taghhom it-tnejn, ghaliex in fine dei conti xorta tpappi anke fl-oppozizzjoni. Imbaghad meta finalment tiehu l-gvern tpappi izjed.

Noel Ciantar
Noel Ciantar
2 years ago

The situation is now such that the Moviment Laburista created by the disgraced former Prime Minister Joseph Mvscat IXXIH (who remains its Spiritual Leader) represents a Dominamt Minority of the electorate. This Domunant Minority is an Elite Dominance, representing an assortment of corrupt big business, greedy speculators, so-called developers and criminals who have taken over a sizeable portion of the electorate by capturing the Malta Labour Party, its media, its networks and its voters loyalty.

The results of the election of 26 March show that the Moviment Laburista can, and will be, defeated at the polls.

The numbers, especially the fact that the Moviment Laburista is now effectively a Moviment Minoritarju Laburista, open the way for the opposition forces to work together like never before to force an early election.

It is clear that although the Moviment Minoritarju Laburista now led by Robert Joseph Mvscat-Abela has a legal mandate to govern, it failed to achieve a moral victory. More than half of the electorate did not believe the Moviment Minoritarju Laburista’s propaganda and promises, and does not trust it any more.

The majority of the electorate expects justice.

As for the small parties and those who did not vote, there is now the need for constitutional reforms on parliamentary representation, and on state party financing to level the playing field snd make electoral spending more transparent.

Last edited 2 years ago by Noel Ciantar
Noel Ciantar
Noel Ciantar
2 years ago

From now onwards, the Prime Minister Robert Joseph Mvscat-Abela needs to employ some one to constantly remind him that the real majority in the country consists of the forces which oppose his “government,” and that his “government” is only an overall minority. Not that we will not keep reminding him.

Edgar Gambin
Edgar Gambin
2 years ago

Can somebody tell me why and how those that remained at home are part of the winners. What did they win for themselves and the country?

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