The local council election is more than a month away, but one thing is already certain: the Labour Party will definitely win at least a third of them.
Out of 68 local councils, the Nationalist Party failed to produce enough candidates to win a majority in 21 of them – namely Birgu, Bormla, Dingli, Fgura, Għarb, Ħal Għaxaq, Isla, Kalkara, Kirkop, Luqa, Marsaxlokk, Marsaskala, Ħal Qormi, Sannat, Ta’ Xbiex, Xagħra, Xewkija, Xgħajra, Żabbar, Żejtun and Żurrieq.
Although the PL commands a majority in all these councils, some of them, such as Ħal Qormi and Xagħra were once considered to be swing councils.
While this could well be that the PN simply couldn’t find enough candidates, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat suggested today that there’s a dirtier game at play.
“The PN’s strategy is that they want to disincentivise people from voting at the European Parliament elections,” he told a political rally in Tarxien. “They are sacrificing 21 local councils so their residents won’t feel incentivised to vote in the European Parliament elections. Perhaps a PL voter from Marsaskala might decide to go fishing instead of voting, safe in the knowledge that the PL will win the council regardless.”
“Had we played their game and fielded the minimum number of candidates to secure a majority in these councils, then 117,000 people would have no need to vote in these local council elections. This should be a message for these people to go out and vote in force in the European Parliament elections.”