Labour holds on to fourth seat with thinner margin

How May’s MaltaToday survey is giving Labour just over four quotas

The Labour Party is still holding on to a fourth seat in the European Parliament but the latest projection gives it a less comfortable margin.

New predictions based on the May MaltaToday survey published last week, show that the PL will have 4.06 quotas under its belt at the first count, a decrease of 0.31 over April.

The Nationalist Party will have 2.67 quotas, an increase of 0.04. This gives the PN two solid seats but the third seat won by a thin margin five years ago will be lost.

The projections show that the PL is on course to win four seats, against the PN’s two.

The Democratic Party, Alternattiva Demokratika and Imperium Europa will together have 0.28 of a quota, or just above 11,000 votes. This is not enough to secure either of them a seat.

Although the PL saw its voting share increase over the past month, the PN made bigger gains to close the gap marginally.

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. 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.

So far, the PN appears unable to repeat that feat. To do so, the PN needs to avoid vote haemorrhage during the transfer process, gain votes from third party and PL candidates that are eliminated and hope that the PL loses votes along the way through non-transference.

The projection

Step 1: Eligible voters

There are 371,625 Maltese people aged 16 and over registered as voters for the European Parliament election. These include EU citizens in Malta who will vote here.

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.

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 May MaltaToday survey. The numbers in the brackets represent the change over the April results.

The raw MT survey results produced the following relevant numbers:

No vote 9.8% (-4)
Don't know 12.4% (-4.9)
No answer 1.8% (-0.1)
PL 44.1% (+2.3)
PN 29% (+3.8)
Others 3% (+3)

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 58% (-4.4)
PN 38.1% (+0.5)
Others 4% (+4)

Step 3: Key assumptions

Those who said they will not vote, are unsure and did not answer – a total of 24% (-9) – will stay at home on 25 May. This gives a turnout of 76% (+9), which is equivalent to 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 39,541 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 371,625
Turnout at 76% 282,435
Vaold votes cast 98% 276,786
Quota to be elected 39,541

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 May Survey)

Party Vote share Votes Quotas Projected seats
PL 58% 160,536 4.06 4
PN 38.1% 105,455 2.67 2
Others 4% 11,071 0.28 0

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
Others 0% 0 0 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 Acutal 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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