Updated | 10pm: voting ends, polling stations close and attention shifts to Naxxar

Polling stations closed at 10pm after 15 hours of steady voting flow

Counting agents face a long night (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
Counting agents face a long night (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
Photography: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Photography: James Bianchi/MediaToday

Polling stations across the Maltese islands closed at 10pm, bringing to an end Election Day and kick starting the second process: the sealing of boxes and the transfer to the counting complex in Naxxar.

After 15 hours during which the electorate could cast its vote to elect its government and representatives for the next five years, the polling stations closed and the moving of ballot boxes from the various polling stations to the counting hall started.

By 10.41pm, the first coach carrying ballot boxes from the Naxxar polling station reached the counting hall.

In the coming hours, the counting staff will open the boxes and start the rigorous process of placing the ballot sheets face down, grouped in packets of 50.

The sorting of votes will start tomorrow at 10am, where the ballot sheets will be turned face up and distributed in the candidates’ pigeonhole according to the first preference vote.

As soon as the voting ended, Prime Minister and Labour leader Joseph Muscat took to Twitter to thank the Labour Party’s volunteers.

“Thanks to hundreds of volunteers in our campaign and to all those who voted for PL. We did our best and now we await results,” Muscat tweeted.

On his part, Opposition leader Simon Busuttil spent the day travelling from one locality to another, visiting party activists at the party’s clubs and thanking them for their work whilst urging them to continue pushing for more people to vote.