Voter turnout in the 2024 European Parliament elections has been estimated at just under 73% nationwide, the Electoral Commission said early on Sunday.

The approximate 72.82% figure includes the roughly 22,000 people who cast their vote in early voting sessions held earlier this month and is based on the total number of registered voters, meaning it also factors in voters who did not collect their voting document. 

In the previous MEP election, held in 2019, nationwide turnout stood at 72.7%.

When those who did not collect their voting document are not included in the calculation, estimated turnout in the 2024 MEP election leaps to 81.03%. 

The figures released by the Electoral Commission are approximate, not final. Final turnout figures are expected later on Sunday. 

Turnout was lowest in the 10th, 12th and 9th districts – traditionally PN strongholds – where it ranged from roughly 56% to just under 63%.

But when compared to 2019 district turnout figures, the numbers tell a somewhat different story. The biggest decline in turnout was registered in the 6th district, where it fell by 6.55%, followed closely by the 8th, which registered a 6.19% decline.  

The 6th district is made up of Qormi, Siġġiewi, Żebbuġ and Luqa and swung Labour’s way 3-2 in the 2022 general election, while the 8th district is composed of Balzan, Birkirkara, Swatar, Iklin and Lija and swung the PN’s way 3-2 in 2022.

Turnout was also down markedly in the 2nd and 4th districts, which are traditionally Labour strongholds. There, it fell by 4.49 and 4.96 percentage points respectively. 

All districts which traditionally vote Labour saw marked drops in turnout, with smaller drops in various blue districts, such as the 13th, 12th and 9th. 

Local council election turnout

Turnout for local council elections - which are open to all residents - was significantly lower, coming in at an approximate 59.47%.

Voters in St Julian’s, Sliema, St Paul’s Bay and Gżira were the most apathetic when it came to local council elections, approximate data shows.

Turnout in those three localities -which also have high non-Maltese populations – ranged from 26.69% (St Julian’s) to 28.87% (Gżira).

By contrast, voters in smaller, more peripheral localities like Kerċem (75.04%), Dingli (74.23%) and Santa Luċija (73.53%) were the most keen to cast their ballot. 

Six MEP seats are up for grabs. 

Overnight the ballot boxes were taken to the Naxxar counting hall, where they were opened and the ballot papers counted face down to ensure that their number tallied with the data of the ballots in each box supplied by the polling booth officials. 

At 9am the ballot papers will be turned face-up, checked and fed into a scanner which will count them. The result will then be handed to the political parties which have four hours to confirm them before they are made official. However the unofficial results are expected to be known in the late morning.   

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