Labours difficult uphill
Sundays referendum result should have been the cause
for mass celebration for all those wanting Malta in the EU. The pro-EU
gang did celebrate, but many of those supporting must have had a knot
in their throat.
It was expected that celebrations would continue well into Monday, many
parents did not send their children to school and shops in several areas
In the event, the celebrations on Monday were relatively tame and the
day passed off fairly normally, with the news of the election date coming
as no surprise.
Alfred Sants reaction to the referendum was not unexpected, but
it has forced EU hopers to start worrying about the election outcome.
There is no doubt that Sants decision to hold a mass meeting on
Sunday and claim victory had tactical intentions. Sant has effectively
pre-empted any possible attempt from within his party to challenge either
his leadership or Labours stand on the EU.
That the referendum has pointed Malta in the direction of EU membership
there is no doubt, but the election will be a different ball game and
nobody active in politics will get a moments rest before 12 April.
Lino Spiteri has hypothesised that the referendum results would indicate
support for the PN together with AD at 50.67 per cent, but his calculations
assume that all the people who intend voting Nationalist on 12 April
voted yes in the referendum.
The big question mark remains as to how many Labour supporters did not
vote. We know that Alfred Sant did not, and believe neither did Alfred
Mifsud, but beyond that is anyones guess.
If Alfred Sant can produce some 19,500 referendum voting documents from
Labour supporters he is in with a good chance. If not, he still has
a big gap to bridge, always assuming those that voted yes
are determined to see Malta in the EU. Otherwise the Labour party has
a big job on its hands. Bringing at least half 19,500 votes, (9,750
votes) to vote Labour is a massive task in these short weeks.
What may effectively seal Labours downfall would be a coalition
agreement between the PN and AD. That arrangement would ensure that
everybody that wants Malta in the EU but is not happy to vote for PN
would be able to make his or her pro-EU vote effective through AD.