Tensions within the Nationalist Party's parliamentary group reached boiling point overnight when a group of MPs asked the leadership to assume responsibility for the recent electoral losses and step down.

A meeting of the group started at around 6pm dragged on until 2.15am on Wednesday. At times, raised voices could be heard from outside the Nationalist party headquarters.

The absolute majority of MPs were in favour of the leadership resigning, sources said. Only three MPs - Edwin Vassallo, Carm Mifsud Bonnici and general secretary Clyde Puli spoke in favour of party leader Adrian Delia staying on.

The MPs gave the leadership some days to find the best way how - not if- to resign, one source said.

Many MPs made it clear to Dr Delia that the party is unelectable at this stage.

"We made it clear that under his leadership, the party cannot win an election," a source said.

Some insisted that it should be Mr Puli and party media head Pierre Portelli who should go.

The group also discussed allegations that fake Facebook profiles were being created to attack MPs who did not support Dr Delia's leadership.

Some claimed that those who supported Dr Delia had created fake accounts to "troll" those who openly spoke against him. 

Dr Delia remained silent throughout most of the meeting, only interjecting to "make points of clarification".

He then told the group that the leadership would be meeting to discuss the way forward and that a meeting would be called in days to discuss the matter further.

An MP admitted it was the least "problematic" of meetings - because everyone was finally honest about the way they felt.

The call was clear: "face the reality of the situation and get us out of the fiasco we are in", they said.

Dr Delia has to date insisted he will not step down, seeing the general election in three years' time as his proper test.

One source said matters would not be solved just by Dr Delia's resignation.

"Even if [Dr Delia] resigns, whoever takes over the party leadership will need to win over the grassroots who currently support him," he said, adding that there were "two extremes" of PN voters at the moment.

The group is expected to reconvene in a few days.

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