Joseph Muscat insisted Labour had managed to maintain its electoral majority despite gaining a smaller share of the vote compared to the same round of local council elections three years ago.

Speaking at Castille Dr Muscat said: “Despite being mid-term, with a 54 per cent majority Labour managed to maintain its popularity when compared to the last general election.”

Dr Muscat, who said the party would be celebrating the result in Marsa this morning, insisted there had been no shift towards the Nationalist Party.

He added: “It is not realistic to compare these local council elections with similar ones three years ago.”

The Prime Minister said Labour’s victory is the largest ever for a governing party contesting these elections, saying the most the PN had ever achieved was 49 per cent.

It is not realistic to compare these local council elections with similar ones three years ago

Dr Muscat said that Opposition leader Simon Busuttil was happy with a defeat and wanted to “drum up” the result to save his position.

“If he is happy, than we are happy,” the Prime Minister said.

At the same time, Dr Muscat said that his party would take note of the result and continue to analyse it. He said that despite achieving a lot, Labour still had much more to do.

The Prime Minister said there were many reasons why Labour’s vote in certain localities in the south had decreased, among which was a feeling among some Labourites that their concerns had not yet been addressed.

In particular reference to Zurrieq and the fifth district, Dr Muscat said that the fact that European Commissioner Karmenu Vella was no longer part of the Labour Party may have disheartened some traditional labour voters.

However, the Prime Minister said that the result confirmed that the electorate wanted positive politics and that Malta continued to be optimistic.

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