[WATCH] People voted for Labour's positive approach - Muscat

Muscat says that MEP election result an indication of Malta’s changing political landscape

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has described the European election result as a “convincing one” which government was receiving with “satisfaction and humility”.

Preliminary figures show that the Labour Party won the 2014 European Parliament elections with an absolute majority of 53%, compared to the PN’s 40%. It is also the first time in which the party in government won the MEP elections in Malta.

“We need to keep in mind that these are elections where people in Malta, as well as most other European countries, usually vote against the party in power,” he said. “This victory means that we were the first to manage this and it will be one of the few governments that won the elections with an absolute majority.”

Muscat said that the gap between the two parties was expected to be one very similar to the 2013 general election. “This is a great feat when one considers that the voter turnout was much lower,” he said. “The result is a confirmation that the Labour movement is changing the landscape of politics in Malta.”

Expressing his gratitude to those who voted for Labour candidates, Muscat said that the considerable victory was a “vote of confidence” in government. “It is a clear message that the Malta Taghna Ilkoll slogan is alive and kicking,” he said. "In voting for Labour, the people are clearly for this movement and its direction.”

Muscat also laid into the Opposition for their negative approach throughout the election campaign. “It is evident that the Maltese are fed up of the negative approach the Opposition has adopted over the last year or so,” he said. “They seemed to me not ri have any political message and instead resorted to shallow criticism.”

Referencing Simon Busuttil’s call for voters to show Muscat and his government a yellow card at the election, the PM said that the opposite seems to have occurred. “The PN leadership managed to keep the same gap between the two parties that there was last year,” he said. “They (the Opposition) made no inroads whilst we stood our ground.”

Muscat taunted the PN for having not won an election with an absolute majority since 2003 – in 2008, the Nationalist party won the general election with a relative majority. “This should have been the easiest election for the PN,” he said. “This movement has now won three consecutive elections with an absolute majority, something which the PN hasn’t managed in 11 years.”

Asked if his party had faced a weak Opposition in Simon Busuttil, the PM said that it was not a question of the people involved as much as the strategy adopted by the PN. “The style used by the Opposition throughout this campaign and over the course of the last year has been one full of negativity,” he said. “It is good to criticise but they went overboard with theirs.”

“People voted for positivity in this election, over the negative style of politics used by the Nationalists.”