The seventh district, made up of Żebbuġ, Dingli, Mġarr, Mtarfa, Rabat, Baħrija and Tal-Virtù, was a relatively closely fought contest in 2017.
Labour candidates attracted 56.44% of the vote compared to the Nationalist Party’s 42.24%, with PL electing three candidates to the PN’s two.
In 2017, Transport Minister Ian Borg came out on top, followed by former Finance Minister Edward Scicluna and Economy Minister Silvio Schembri.
The two PN seats went to party heavyweight Beppe Fenech Adami and Jean Pierre Debono, who was contesting his first general election. Debono’s stint in parliament would however prove to be short-lived.
The MP resigned his seat that same year, paving the way for then PN leader Adrian Delia to make it into parliament.
Having been elected on two districts, Fenech Adami too gave up his seat on the seventh district, allowing PD candidate Godfrey Farrugia to sneak in instead, much to the dismay of certain party insiders who felt the seat should have been retained by the Nationalist Party.
PN and PD had formed a short-lived alliance known as Forza Nazzjonali prior to the election of June 2017, but it was dissolved by the following December.
Scicluna resigned his seat last December. Gavin Gulia won the ensuing casual election, only to resign minutes after being sworn in to parliament. Oliver Scicluna ended up being co-opted to take his seat.
What to look out for
Ian Borg, who has gone on overdrive when it comes to infrastructure projects in his district, has all but cemented his hold on the top seat.
Assuming Labour again returns three seats, which looks to be a given, the remaining two seats should see a battle between Silvio Schembri, Julia Farrugia Portelli and Aaron Farrugia.
Malcolm Paul Agius Galea, a Żebbuġ doctor and mayor of the same locality, could also put in a strong showing.
Former Labour youths president Naomi Cachia will also be out to make an impression in her first general election contest.
On the PN side, former party leader Adrian Delia is on course to be the stongest candidate, particularly given how Beppe Fenech Adami will not be re-contesting on the district.
The party has no less than four other candidates in Edwin Vassallo, Ryan Callus, Graziella Galea and Ivan Bartolo who have represented the party in parliament during the last legislature.
Newcomer Rebekah-Ann Cilia has also been receiving a noticeable push by the party.
What are the issues?
People in the area seem to be a relatively happy bunch. A quarter of people in the region claim in surveys to have no problems, followed by concerns about the cost of living.
The rural composition of this district yields a large number of single-issue voters, with around 2,000 registered hunters and trappers in the area
Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia has already proudly shared on Facebook his endorsement by the FKNK, the hunters’s lobby.
Labour newcomer Alicia Bugeja Said too has made it a point to meet with hunters.
Malcolm Paul Agius Galea,
Julia Farrugia Portelli,
Fleur Anne Vella
Alicia Bugeja Said
Alessia Psaila Zammit
Ian Mario Vassallo
John Mark Attard