Maltese general election, 2013

Maltese general election
9 March 2013

All 69 seats of the House of Representatives.
35 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party
Leader Joseph Muscat Lawrence Gonzi
Party Labour Nationalist
Leader since 6 June 2008 23 March 2004
Last election 34 seats, 48.79% 35 seats, 49.34%
Seats won 39 30
Seat change Increase 5 Decrease 5
Popular vote 167,533 132,426
Percentage 54.83% 43.34%
Swing Increase 6.04% Decrease 6.00%

Prime Minister before election

Lawrence Gonzi

Elected Prime Minister

Joseph Muscat

The Maltese general election took place on Saturday, 9 March 2013. The Labour Party won a majority of seats thus defeating the Nationalist Party, which had been in power for 15 years.


On 10 December 2012 Lawrence Gonzi's government was defeated in a vote on the 2013 Financial Estimates[1][2] when ruling party MP Franco Debono voted against the government's budget proposal in protest over transportation reform in giving a German operator the contract to manage the national bus service.[2] Faced with loss of supply, Gonzi announced that the House of Representatives would be dissolved on 7 January and a general election called for 9 March.[3]

Electoral system

The system of voting used was, as in previous elections, proportional representation through modified single transferable vote with five MPs to be returned from each of thirteen districts, i.e. 65 constituency seats in total, with a variable number of at-large seats added to ensure that the overall first-preference votes are reflected in the composition of the House of Representatives. There were also some minor changes to the boundaries of electoral districts from the previous general election and improved voting arrangements for hospital patients.[4]


The two leading political parties contesting the election were the Nationalist Party of the incumbent prime minister,[5] Lawrence Gonzi and the Labour Party, led by Joseph Muscat,[6] for whom this was the first general election at the helm of the party. The Third party was Democratic Alternative, a Green Party, which was seeking to elect its first MP.[7] A small number of independent candidates also ran for election.

National Action, which stood candidates in the 2008 general election and 2009 European Parliamentary election, ceased activities in 2010 and did not contest this election.

Opinion polls

Date(s) Released Polling institute NationalistLabour Democratic
No answer
7 January 2012 The Sunday Times 25.2%
44.3% 4%
8 July 2012 Misco International 22% 32% 1% 45% 10%
14 October 2012 Misco International 22% 34% 1% 43% 12%
13 January 2013 The Sunday Times 27%
38% 6%
3 March 2013 Malta Today 28.2% 40.2% 2.4% 29.2% 12%

¤ Opinion polls adjusted for the preference of undecided voters.


Labourites celebrate at Castille Square after the election.

Following the preliminary result, in which Labour won 39 seats to 26 for the Nationalists, Labour party leader Joseph Muscat said from Naxxar: "I wasn't expecting such a landslide victory for Labour. We must all remain calm, tomorrow is another day." Nationalist party leader Lawrence Gonzi conceded the election in saying "The Nationalist Party needs to begin a reform process and at the same remain rooted in its values."[8] This was the first time the Labour party won a majority in the government since Malta joined the European Union,[9] as well as being the first Labour government since the new millennium (as the previous one should have ended in 2001, but ended prematurely in 1998). Furthermore, the Labour party won absolute majority of the votes in 23 of the 35 localities, increasing its overall share of the votes by 2.2% from the last elections.[10] The Nationalist Party was subsequently awarded four at-large seats, bringing it to 30 in all, to adjust for its share of the first-preference vote.

 Summary of the 9 March 2013 House of Representatives of Malta election results
Parties Votes % +/– Seats +/–
Labour Party167,53354.83+6.0439+5
Nationalist Party132,42643.34–6.0030–5
Democratic Alternative5,5061.80+0.4900
Ajkla Party470.02New0New
Liberal Alliance120.00New0New
Invalid/blank votes4,044
Registered voters/turnout330,07293.8
Source: Government of Malta, Parliament of Malta


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