Some Data on Incumbents

It is a worldwide phenomenon that incumbent members of a legislature generally fare well in seeking re-election. In the U.S. these persistent successes of incumbent legislators have often led to demands for automatic “term limits” – even though such draconian measures are rather dubious in regard to their democratic credentials and constitutional validity.

In Malta, too, incumbents have generally done quite well over the years. The information about them is offered here according to two distinct perspectives:

A. The Electoral Fate of Incumbents 

All incumbents necessarily fall into one of three possible categories: They either

(a) were re-elected; or
(b) did not contest the next election; or
(c) tried without success to win re-election

The information in this section covers all elections, from 1921 to 2013, and is presented in two different formats:

(1) This provides the summary figures for each election [XLS], showing the number of parliamentarians who won or failed or who did not make a re-election bid.

(2) A separate section offers the names of all incumbents, separately for each legislative period, with indications of their (a) election district; (b) political party; (c) continuance or discontinuance in office; and (d) if re-elected, the electoral district for the new incumbency. Click here [XLS] for complete listing.

B. The Institutional Impact of Re-Elected Incumbents

Here, the focus is on each separate parliament and the number of returning members, plus the new members who made up its membership.

Click here [XLS] for the data and a brief discussion of these patterns of old and new faces in Maltese Parliaments.