The outcome of Saturday’s MEP elections reflected, almost to precision, the clear indications given by pre-election surveys commissioned and published by The Sunday Times of Malta over the past two months.
Both surveys, which tallied with others conducted by other media outlets, indicated a significant gap between the two main political parties, below 50,000 votes.
Notwithstanding their margin of error, the surveys indicated that the Labour Party would poll over 50% of the vote with the Nationalist Party winning 40% or less.
The last survey, published by The Sunday Times of Malta a week before the country went to the polls, gave Labour 55%, a fraction higher than the actual result. The PN fared worse than the 40% margin projected by the survey, getting 37.9% of the vote, its worst result since 1951.
The surveys, conducted by Misco, also proved to be spot-on with regard to the elected candidates in the EP elections.
The four Labour candidates indicated as being the most popular in the latest survey by The Sunday Times of Malta were, in fact, all elected.
The same applies to PN candidates, with the study clearly predicting the party would lose its third seat and that Roberta Metsola would be the most popular among Nationalist voters.
Just a week before the polls, David Casa and Frank Psaila, the latest openly backed by the PN administration and the party ‘machine’, were neck and neck with equal chances of making it to Brussels.
However, Mr Casa, the longest-serving Maltese MEP, made an eleventh hour comeback, persuading PN voters to prefer him over the newcomer.