Localities considered PN strongholds but hold large foreign populations have recorded abysmal voting turnouts for the respective local council elections, giving some indication on the record low turnout for the MEP elections.
St Paul’s Bay (31.7%), St Julian’s (33.9%), Sliema (34.7%), Pembroke (36.3%), Gzira (39.1%), Swieqi (41.3%), and Msida (43.95%) are the only seven localities across Malta and Gozo who recorded a turnout of less than 50% for local councils.
While all experienced a drop compared to the last local council elections, Sliema had more than 20% fewer voters this time around.
As a total, the turnout for local councils (60.2%) is actually 10% less than that of the MEPs, despite the two national elections taking place on the same day. While apathy towards local councils may be behind the low figures, it does give some indication how each locality voted for the MEP elections.
The 10th District (which includes Sliema, Pembroke, Gzira, and St Julian’s) and the 12th District (which includes St Paul’s Bay) recorded the lowest turnouts in the MEP elections at at 58.9% and 59.7% respectively.
Despite the dust yet to settle following the Labour Party’s resounding victory, PN Secretary General Clyde Puli, Independent MP Herman Schiavone, and other experts have already placed some blame of the result on the poor turnout in the localities.
Political disillusionment with the PN could have had a significant effect with figures indicating that the party’s base seems reluctant to turn up to vote, especially within the Sliema area.
However, the areas also have the largest foreign populations in countries with St Paul’s Bay and St Julian’s having more foreign voters than Maltese. Expats may have simply just not turned up for elections given that they may feel like they have no vested interest.