Bernard Grech has hailed the Nationalist Party’s “best ever” showing in the European Parliament elections.

Speaking on NET TV and later at Naxxar counting centre, the Opposition leader said people have sent a clear message about the way the country is being run.

The Nationalist Party has forecast the gap between them and Labour at 15,000 votes, a massive improvement on the 42,000-vote gap in 2019.

Grech accused the government of spending “millions” in an attempt to influence the election result.

“People are realising that the government only takes notice of them when an election is around the corner. It is not PR that improves people’s lives, but a genuine love for our country and its people,” Grech said.

There were cheers for Bernard Grech upon his arrival at the counting hall. Video: Matthew Mirabelli.

While Labour will still be in government, it has received a clear message that it cannot continue to act arrogantly or brush off concerns about a mother seeking the truth about her son, Grech said in reference to Jean Paul Sofia, who died in the December 2022 building collapse. 

Grech urged people to reach out to the PN and tell them their story. 

"I am not here to speak about numbers. I am here to speak about people’s lives. The PN will give the country a strong economy, education, healthcare and good governance. We are offering hope for a better country. We are here for you," Grech said. 

In a later visit to the counting hall, Grech said the projected result will act as a platform for the PN to continue implementing its plan ahead of the general election. 

Grech said the PN had not only hit its targets, but exceeding them. 

"Now is not the time for parties. Now is the time to roll up our sleeves and keep on working," Grech said. 

If PN's predictions are right, it will be Labour’s narrowest EP victory since 2004, when it won by just under 9% of the vote, or some 21,000 votes.

Grech was given an enthusiastic welcome by supporters - the sort not seen by the PN at least since 2008 - as the counting agents and party officials sang the PN anthem and shouted 'Bernard, Bernard' and banged on the perspex. 

The full outcome of Saturday's EP elections will be known later on Sunday when the vote transfer process is completed.

It is not clear whether it will be a PN candidate who will get the seat that Labour risks losing, or whether it will go to independent candidate Arnold Cassola.

With counting for the EP elections due to be fully wrapped up on Sunday evening, the Electoral Commission will focus on vote-counting of the 68 local council elections between Wednesday and Friday.


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