Labour strengthens claim on fourth seat but fifth is out of reach

The latest projections show that the PL will have 4.37 quotas under its belt at the first count, an increase of 0.21 over March. The PN will have 2.63 quotas, a slight drop of 0.06

A fifth seat in the European Parliament for the Labour Party is out of reach but projections show it has consolidated its grip on the fourth.

New predictions based on the April MaltaToday survey show that the PL is on course to amass four quotas at the first count in the election next month.

This means the party is on course to win four seats, against the Nationalist Party’s two.

A similar projection last month gave similar results but the latest findings show that the PL has strengthened its claim on the fourth seat.

The latest projections show that the PL will have 4.37 quotas under its belt at the first count, an increase of 0.21 over March. The PN will have 2.63 quotas, a slight drop of 0.06.

The exercise is based on declared voting intention and does not attribute party preference to those who said they were unsure who to vote for in the upcoming May election.

There has been speculation that the PL could even win five seats in the May EP election but so far, there is no statistical basis to justify this assertion.

Malta has six seats in the European Parliament and in 2014 the PN managed to clinch its third seat by a few hundred votes at the end of the vote counting process.

The PN appears to be struggling to convince voters, with the April MaltaToday poll putting the party’s strength at 37.6% when the ‘don’t knows’ and ‘no’ vote are removed from the equation.

If this turns out to be the case, it would be the lowest ever percentage registered by the party. The last time the PN fell below the 40% threshold was in the 2004 EP election when it saw its vote share drop to 39.8% on the back of a good performance by Alternattiva Demokratika.

Third parties and independent candidates have so far made no inroads with the electorate.

The Projection

Step 1: Eligible voters

There were 351,483 Maltese people aged 16 and over, registered as voters in the last electoral register published in October. Given that the May election is for the European Parliament, EU citizens in Malta can also vote. The number of EU citizens registered to vote is 18,160.
This means that for the purpose of this calculation the number of eligible voters is assumed to be 369,643.

Step 2: Basis on which EP vote is projected

For the purpose of this exercise, the EP election result is being modelled on the findings of the April MaltaToday survey. The numbers in the brackets represent the change over the March projection.

The raw MT survey results produced the following relevant numbers:

No vote 13.8% (+0.6)
Don't know 17.3% (+3.4)
No answer 1.8% (no change)
PL 41.8% (-0.5)
PN 25.2% (-2.1)
Other 0 (-1.5)

If the people who did not declare a voting intention are removed from the equation, the projected results for the political parties would be:

PL 62.4% (+2.9)
PN 37.6 (-0.8)
Others 0% (-2.1)

Step 3: Key assumptions

Those who said they will not vote, are unsure and did not answer – a total of 33% (+4) – will stay at home on 25 May. This gives a turnout of 67% (-4), which constitutes a significant decline from the turnout of 75% in the last EP election of 2014.

It is assumed that from those who turn out to vote, 98% will cast a valid vote. This percentage is based on the last EP election in 2014.

These figures will give a national quota of 34,674 votes, which is the number a candidate has to reach to get elected. In the March projection, the quota was established at 36,744 votes.

The quota is calculated by dividing the number of valid votes cast by seven (one more than the number of seats that have to be elected), plus one.

Eligible voters 369,643
Turnout at 67% 247,661
Valid votes cast 98% 242,708
Quota to get elected 34,674

Step 4: Projected seats in May 2019

The projected results obtained by the political parties in the MT survey are used to calculate the projected number of votes they could be

expected to receive in the election. This is worked as a percentage of valid votes cast.

The votes projected for each party are divided by the quota to determine how many quotas the party is expected to have totted up at the first count. This is indicative of the number of seats that are likely to go the party’s way.

MEP 2019 (MT April survey)

Party Vote share Votes Quotas Projected seats
PL 62.4% 151,450 4.37 4
PN 37.6% 91,258 2.63 2
Other 0 0 0  

MEP 2019 (MT March survey)

Party Vote share Votes Quotas Projected seats
PL 59.5% 153,033 4.16 4
PN 38.4% 98,764 2.69 2
Others 2.1% 5,401 0.15 0

The results of the 2014 MEP election show how the number of projected seats the parties started with at the first count was a good reflection of how they eventually ended up. The quota in 2014 was 35,979.

MEP 2014

Party Vote share Votes Quotas Actual seats
PL 53.4% 134,462 3.74 3
PN 40% 100,785 2.80 3
Others 6.6% 16,604 0.46 0


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