MEP Elections 2004

Following Malta's accession to the European Union in May of 2004, the country held its first election to the European Parliament on 12 June 2004.

Five representatives were to be elected. The contest attracted 27 candidates - eight each by the two major parties (PN and MLP), one from the Green Party and ten more candidates who were independents or represented marginal groups like newly created one-person political parties. (For details, see the vote totals file mentioned below.)

The elections were conducted under Malta's prevailing single-transferable-vote system.

These were the winning candidates (in the order in which they were elected):

  • Simon Busuttil (PN)
  • Joseph Muscat (MLP)
  • John Attard Montalto (MLP)
  • David Casa (PN)
  • Louis Grech (MLP)


Voting participation was low by Maltese standards:

Eligible Voters: 304,283
Votes Cast: 250,691 (82.39%)
Invalid Votes: 4,969 (1.63%)
Valid Votes: 245,722 (80.75%)

The distribution of valid (first count) votes among the parties was as follows:

Malta Labour Party: 118,983 (48.42%)
Nationalist Party: 97,688 (39.76%)
AD – The Green Party: 22,938 (9.33%)
All others: 6,113 (2.49%)

A Note and a Table

Two aspects of the election results attracted particular attention in the Maltese media: That the MLP exceeded the PN's national vote percentage (which had happened only once in the past six general elections) and the strong showing by AD, the Green Party.

The AD managed to attract over nine percent of the first-count votes, a remarkable feat after its steady decline at the polls in recent general elections. It attracted transfer votes from the PN and, to a lesser extent, from MLP candidates; yet, as the Table below shows, these were quite modest in size.

Many observers guessed that the AD attracted a substantial number of former PN supporters. This may well be the case but it remains undocumented. It is possible that voters making the AD their first choice "reverted" to other party preferences thereafter; but this can only be assumed because no vote transfers from the AD's ballots were required.

The party solidarity of Maltese voters, so conspicuous in general elections, also prevailed in the European Parliament election. Votes transferred from both MLP and PN candidates almost invariably were designated for candidates of the same party, as the Table below amply illustrates.

Intra-Party and Inter-Party Vote Transfers