Sources & Acknowledgements


This website has its roots in the earlier work of Professor John C. Lane who had obtained an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of California and his Ph.D. from Columbia University in New York City. As a professor of Political Science at the State University of New York, he specialized in American constitutional law and Western European politics.

During a sabbatical leave in Malta he developed an interest in its electoral system, the rarely used single-transferable-vote. He began collecting Maltese electoral data and decided to create something new, a database of Maltese election results. First, it would be comprehensive, including the votes on every count in every district in every election since 1921. Second, it would be machine-readable to facilitate research. Third, it would be made freely available to any interested person.

The project involved the search for primary sources and was greatly helped by a number of Maltese persons: Scholars, librarians and politicians among them. The work was essentially completed by 1992 and then updated after each new election. With the emergence of the internet it became possible to make the database widely and easily accessible. By the late 1990s it was launched as a website and expanded beyond the original coded dataset to provide the data in plain text, browsable form and to include as well some links, commentary and analyses.

All tabulations and analyses in this website are based on the record of some 4,138 candidacies that have been undertaken in national elections since 1921 and on 4,125 candidacies in local council elections. These records include such information as the voluminous vote transfers that are characteristic of single-transferable-vote (STV) systems.

The original database was designed for statistical analysis and therefore put in coded form. In that form it is still available here. In time, however, it became obvious that many persons seemed more interested in, and more comfortable with, a data presentation in plain-text, browsable form. Those preferences prompted the creation of this website.

The website has been revamped and is now managed by a number of University of Malta departments, including the Department of Mathematics, the Department of History, the Department of Economics, the Institute for European Studies, the Library and IT Services. Data held in the old website was transferred to the new website in its original form, therefore the University of Malta shall not be held responsible for any miscalculations that may exist.

Documentary Sources: The basic sources were the various Declarations of Results of Poll published by the Electoral Commission in the Government Gazette immediately after each election. These tabulations report the votes received and transferred in each district, on each count, for each individual candidate.

Because these compilations go out of print very soon after an election, it was necessary to procure photocopies of old Declarations from the few libraries (none of them outside Malta) that had kept reasonably readable copies of the originals going back to 1921.

Other printed materials which proved useful to complement the Declarations of the Results of Poll were the official statistical yearbooks and Maltese-language accounts of elections by Michael Schiavone and Remig Sacco, respectively.

The University of Malta gratefully acknowledges the continued support of the Electoral Commission, which provides the data to keep the website up-to-date.