It was the biggest electoral victory in Malta’s history - until it wasn’t.
 
The Labour Party’s landslide win in Saturday’s European Parliament election saw them open up a substantial 42,656-vote advantage over the Nationalist Party.

However, it fell some way short of projections that at one point during the vote counting process had pointed to a gap in excess of 51,500 votes, prompting Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to declare it an “unprecedented” victory, and the widest margin in Malta’s electoral history.

In the end, the PL received 54.3% of the vote, compared to the PN’s 37.9%.

The revised predictions meant that the 2019 victory failed to break a record set in the 1947 general election by Paul Boffa, whose Labour Party triumphed by a margin of 44,104 votes and continues to hold top spot.

The former Prime Minister had secured 59.9% of the vote - securing 24 of 40 available seats - ahead of the Nationalist Party on 18% and the Democratic Action Party on 13.3%.

Dr Muscat’s latest victory does, however, go down as the largest since independence, ahead of his own recent wins in the 2017 general election and 2014 European Parliament vote.

The difference between the two parties was of 35,280 votes in 2017, according to Electoral Commission data, and 33,688 in 2014.

As pointed out by the Labour Party itself, Saturday’s result also means that Dr Muscat has now notched up nine electoral victories - including national, European, and local council ballots - in the 10 years since first leading the party into an election.