Robert Abela will be calling for a vote of confidence from his parliamentary group and party executive during a meeting on Monday evening, Times of Malta is informed. 

The prime minister has convened a meeting at the Labour headquarters in Ħamrun at 7pm, a day after a shock European election result, which saw the PL's electoral majority over the PN shrink to just over 8,400 votes

Abela will seek a vote of approval through a show of hands from his party's 43 members of parliament as well as members of the executive. 

"It will be a show of hands so don't expect any surprises. I do not envisage anybody would dare stand up to challenge his leadership so publicly," said one Labour MP.

Another said the anticipated vote of approval will not change anything. 

"The reality is that our party is facing a major crisis. Nobody envisaged the outcome of the MEP election and we are now anticipating a wipeout during the council elections."

Labour sources said it is the first time that Abela is seeking a vote of confidence among his group. 

Abela was elected prime minister in January 2020, replacing Joseph Muscat, who stepped down in the wake of the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation fallout.  

Narrowest EP victory since 2004

He went on to win the 2022 general election with a majority of 39,400 over the Nationalists. 

Sunday's election result was Labour’s narrowest European Parliament victory since 2004, when it won by some 21,000 votes.

Labour’s popular support has now dipped below 50% for the first time since the general election of 2008, which was won narrowly by the PN. While this doesn’t make a difference to the outcome of a European Parliament election, it’s a hugely symbolic shift.

The result has sent shockwaves through party structures, Labour sources told Times of Malta.

The PL had been expecting the gap to shrink but nobody envisaged the haemorrhage of votes to be this big.

One senior member of the party said: "This is the start of what could be a very terrible week. There will be more embarrassing court cases and we are expecting the PN to overturn a number of councils."

As the reduced majority became clear throughout Sunday, Prime Minister Robert Abela, who initially declared a "solid victory" for the party, said he was not celebrating a victory and promised to heed the people’s message.

He said he intended to work harder than ever and derided the PN for "celebrating a defeat".

Addressing a short victory party outside Labour's headquarters in the afternoon, he said he would be responding with humility to the message sent by the electorate.

People, he said, wanted a better version of Labour. "As from tomorrow, I will be rolling up my sleeves to deliver on this".

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