Updated Friday 8am

The Labour Party won control of 16 local councils while the Nationalists took four as the vote-counting process of Malta's council elections entered the second day.

A total of 94 councillors were elected on the PL ticket, 57 were from the Nationalist Party while two were independent.

After the second day of vote counting, PL has a 60 per cent majority of votes, the PN stands at 37 per cent, while the rest are independent.

Labour celebrated retaining hold over the Birkirkara council and narrowly winning San Ġwann while the PN retained its strongholds of Sliema, Lija, Mgarr, and Victoria during the counting on Thursday.

Labour supporters celebrating their party's hold on Birkirkara. Video: Chris Sant Fournier

Labour won the Birkirkara council 7 to 6, a result which is bound to disappoint PN leader Adrian Delia who had expressed his wish to win back the locality.

Video: Chris Sant Fournier

It also managed to retain Rabat and won San Ġwann, both 5-4. During the last legislature, the PN had a majority of seats in San Ġwann but not votes.

Lija's new mayor Anthony Dalli. He was previously mayor of Iklin. Photo: Keith MicallefLija's new mayor Anthony Dalli. He was previously mayor of Iklin. Photo: Keith Micallef

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat tweeted about his party's success, saying that not only had it managed to hold all its councils, it also consolidated its vote throughout.

The first result out on Thursday was Lija, which the Nationalist Party won 3-2.

The new mayor will be Anthony Dalli, formerly the mayor of Iklin. Outgoing mayor Magda Magri Naudi failed to be elected.

Msida mayor Margaret Baldacchino Cefai. Photo: Chris Sant FournierMsida mayor Margaret Baldacchino Cefai. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Kalkara's result which came in shortly after saw Labour win 4-1 as were the councils of Marsaxlokk, Għaxaq, Sannat and Xagħra, where the PN's only candidate got the highest number of votes. Gudja and Pietà were also won by Labour 3-2. Labour won Msida 5-4, Paola 5-2, Cospicua 6-1, Fgura and Marsascala 7-2, and Żabbar 9-2.

The PN did not just lose Għarb, where it previously held the majority, but only managed to elect one representative in the locality. The other four went to Għarb L-Ewwel - two, and the PL, also two. The highest number of votes were obtained by outgoing PN mayor David Apap, who contested under the Għarb L-Ewwel ticket.

The party, however, managed to retain Victoria, winning the council 4-3 and won Sliema 10-3. The PN increased its eight seats in Sliema to 10 as the council's seats increased from 11 in the last legislature to 13. The PN also won Mġarr 3-2. 

Video: Chris Sant Fournier

What future for PN's sole councillor in Xagħra

The PN's sole councillor in Xagħra, Kevin Cutajar, was asked to comment on the fact that he was reportedly one of the people after David Stellini's seat in Parliament. He said he would speak on the matter on Friday.

The Nationalist Party is convening its executive committee on Saturday morning to decide who to co-opt to replace Mr Stellini, who is stepping down to resume his old job in Brussels.

Jean Pierre Debono, who gave up his seat for party leader Adrian Delia's co-option to Parliament, is also after Mr Stellini's seat.

Sorting process

The sorting process in the second batch of local elections, voting for which was held last Saturday, started right at 5.30pm at the Counting Hall in Naxxar.

The votes for 21 localities will be counted on Thursday: Birkirkara, Cospicua, Għaxaq, Lija, Żabbar, Fgura, Gudja, Kalkara, Rabat, Victoria, Xagħra, Għarb, Mġarr, Msida, Marsascala, Marsaxlokk, Paola, San Ġwann, Sannat, Pietà and Sliema.

Labour supporters celebrate their various victories in the council elections. Video: Chris Sant Fournier

The counting process started on Wednesday when the votes for 23 localities were counted. Labour got majorities in 16 of 23 councils, including Valletta for the first time since councils were set up, and St Paul's Bay. The Nationalist Party held on to St Julian's and made an eight per cent gain in Nadur.

Read: Council results so far: no big surprises but some notable changes

The votes are being counted electronically, reducing the process of vote inheritance, which used to take up to days, to minutes.

The last round of vote counting takes place on Friday. 

Elected councillors

Lija: Anthony Dalli (mayor), Donio Cini, Daniel Mallia - PN; Lorraine Farrugia, Joseph Zahra - PL

Kalkara: Wayne Aquilina (mayor), Vincent Bongailas, Speranza Chircop, Cristopher Bruno - PL; Maria Sultana - PN

Gudja: Marija Sara Vella (mayor), Mario Calleja, Maria Micallef - PL; Mark Anthony Sammut, Stefan Caruana - PN

Marsaxlokk: Steven Grech (mayor), Elenia Desira, Daniel Zerafa, Stephen Caruana - PL; Janice Chetcuti - PN

Għaxaq: Darren Abela (mayor), Christine Dalli, Andreas Gatt, Keith Fenech - PL; Rose Agius - PN

Għarb: David Apap, Miriam Borg - Għarb L-Ewwel; Tonio Mifsud, Joseph Mizzi - PL; Louis Apap - PN (mayorship undecided)

Xagħra: Christian Zammit (mayor), Stefan Bajada, Aaron Agius, Victor Curmi -PL; Kevin Cutajar - PN

Msida: Margaret Baldacchino Cefai (mayor), Romina Galea, Jean-Claude Borg, Nicholas Joseph Chircop, Emanuel Brincat - PL; Charles Selvaggi, Maurice Agius, Alfred Farrugia, Judy Sciberras - PN

Sannat: Philip Vella (mayor), Frances Galea, Clayton Tewma, Steven Gauci - PL; Joseph Bajada - PN

Victoria: Josef Schembri (mayor), Brian Azzopardi, Marcell Tabone, Maria Portelli - PN; Michael Buttigieg, Joseph Debrincat, Charlie Hili - PL

Paola: Dominic Grima (mayor), Darren Lynch, Steven Axisa, Yvonne Arqueros, Neville Camilleri - PL; Ivan Bartolo, Rita Delezio - PN

Rabat: Sandro Craus (mayor), Matthew Chetcuti, Doris Coleiro, Alexander Sandro, Christopher Farrugia, Kris Grech - PL; Ian Mario Vassallo, Nazju Cassar, Karl Muscat, Rudolph Grima - PN

San Ġwann: Trevor Fenech (mayor), Anthony Mifsud Bonnici, Joan Farrugia, Violet Bajada, Tania Borg, Trevor Fenech - PL; Joe Aquilina, Etienne Bonello du Puis, Dominic Cassar, David Dalli - PN

Żabbar: Jorge Grech (mayor), Bernice Farrugia, Mark Grech, Ghislaine Bongailas, Angelo Scicluna, Joseph Vella, Angel Gwyn Louiselle Camilleri, Joseph Agius, Patrick Barbara - PL; Joseph Buttigieg, Anna Calleja - PN

Cospicua: Alison Zerafa Civelli (mayor), Marco E. Agius, Noyah Spiteri Hammett, Melanie Agius, Johann Scerri, Martin Vella - PL, James Cauchi - PN

Fgura: Pierri Dalli (mayor), Clayton Portelli Cascun, Raymond Deguara, Toshera Schembri, Ryan Ellul, Mario Fava, Adrian Tanti - PL; Charles Bonello, Mark Lombardo

Sliema: Anthony Chircop (mayor), Graziella Attard Previ, John Pillow, Anthony Debono, Pierre Portelli, Vivien Galea Pace, Paul Radmilli, Leli Borg, David Soler, Kevin Wain - PN; David Muscat, Wallace Vella Baldacchino, Illona Fenech - PL

Marsascala: Mario Calleja (mayor), Janice Falzon, Carmel Mifsud, Patrick Camilleri, Mary-Rose Mifsud, Ryan Portelli, John Schembri - PL; John Baptist Camilleri, Errol Cutajar - PN

Pietà: Keith Tanti (mayor), Zoya Attard, Anthony Camilleri - PL; Mark Pisani - PN, Josef Fitzpatrick - PN

Birkirkara: Joanne Debono Grech (mayor), Rita Borg, Kaylocke Buhagiar, Karl Cutajar, Nancy Aquilina, Owen Patrick Attard, Sephora Cutajar - PL; Michael Fenech Adami, Justin Schembri, Antoine Attard, Deborah Mifsud, John Mizzi, Marie Claire Zammit Bonello - PN

Mġarr: Paul Vella (mayor), Wistin Vella, Odette Muscat - PN; Clayton Gauci, Tiziana Borg Busuttil - PL

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