Former prime minister Joseph Muscat has hailed Labour's third electoral victory in a row but urged it to analyse why more than 50,000 people had stayed away.

In a Facebook post in which he failed to congratulate Robert Abela, Muscat said the Labour movement was not only alive, but stronger than ever.

"What we built was not something of political convenience but a political, social and economic project that changed Malta and will continue to change it.

"It is clear that the negativity we have again been subjected to is being rejected by the people," he said.

Still, he added, the Labour Party needed to analyse why an unprecedented number of people chose not to vote, and it should not base itself on the superficial analyses of some people in the media who had no idea what people really thought.

Muscat said he had no advice to give the PN, nor did he think they wanted any from him.

He then pointed out that the last time that the Nationalist Party won a general election in normal circumstances was in 1992. The 1998 election was premature and in the context of a crisis (Dom Mintoff had broken ranks with then prime minister Alfred Sant) while the 2003 election was based on the decision of EU membership.

Since 2009, the Labour Party had found the support of 55% of the people while the PN was backed by about 43%.

"Should the PN continue to follow the same recipe, it will make the same stew," he said.

This would not be good for the country, which needed a serious debate on political alternatives.

Meanwhile, the government needed to be humble, he said. The future would present many major challenges and there would be need for unity, competence and courage. Should these be achieved, the future would be bright, Muscat said. 

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