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Labour Party
Partit Laburista (PL)
Leader Joseph Muscat
Deputy Leader Anglu Farrugia
Founded October 15, 1920
Headquarters Mile End Street,
Blata l-Bajda, Ħamrun
Ideology Democratic socialism,
Social democracy,
Third Way
Political position Center-left
International affiliation Socialist International
European affiliation Party of European Socialists
European Parliament Group Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
Official colors Red
Website
www.mlp.org.mt
Politics of Malta
Political parties
Elections
Malta

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
Malta



Other countries · Atlas
Politics portal

The Labour Party (PL, Maltese: Partit Laburista) is one of two major contemporary political parties in Malta, along with the Nationalist Party. It is the party of opposition in the Maltese House of Representatives[1] where it has thirty-four of the sixty-nine seats.

Contents

Party Structure

The Party structures are the General Conference, the National Executive, the Leader and the Deputy Leaders, the Party Congress, the Party Administration, the Parliamentary Group, the Councillors' Section, the District and the Regional Administrations, the Local Committees and the Branches[2].

The General Conference is largely made up of delegates from the Party's other constituent structures and is the Party's highest organ. The National Executive brings together the Party Administration as well as elected representatives of other constituent structures and co-ordinators. The Party Congress is made up of all members of the Party and elects the Leader and the two Deputy Leaders (one for Party, the other for Parliamentary affairs) and determines the Party's broad policy outlines. The Party Administration is made of the Party Leader, Deputy Leaders and Party officials. The Parliamentary Group and the Councillors' Section bring together the Party's elected representatives in parliament and local councils. The Party is organised geographically in the local committees (smallest) and district and regional (largest) administrations. Finally, the Branches of the Party include the women's, youth, senior and candidates' sections.

Although not formally part of the Party's structures the Party owns a number of media and communication outlets either directly or through One Productions, a holding company. The Party owns the Sunday paper Kullħadd and the on-line newspaper Maltastar and, through the holding company, One Television and One Radio which broadcast free-to-air nationally.

History

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Foundation, first years and first government (1921–1949)

The Labour Party was founded as the Chamber of Labour (Italian: Camera del Lavoro) in 1921 by one of the union branches affiliated with the Imperial Government Workers Union. Band clubs and other organisations were invited to send delegates to the Party's founding meeting on 15 March 1921, significantly, the 30th anniversary of Pope Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum[3].

the original "Labour" logo, in use until 1933

Led by Colonel William Savona, the Party contested the general elections held in 1921 and 1924 under the new Constitution that gave the country a measure of self-government. The Labour-Constitutional alliance won the 1927 general elections, but Labour lost ground, gaining 13.9% of votes, three seats in the legislative assembly and no representation in the Senate. Strickland became Prime Minister. Labour leader Savona was not elected, and the leadership of the Labour parliamentary group was temporarily entrusted to Colonel Michael Dundon. The Presidency of the Party and leadership of the parliamentary group was taken up by Paul Boffa later that year.

Labour gained nine seats out of ten in the elections held during November, 1945, in which, contrarily to previous elections, all men over twenty-one years of age were entitled to vote. The Party's electoral programme, for the first time in Labour's history, did not make any reference to religion. Boffa's Government was supported by the General Workers' Union, and it carried out a number of reforms, such as the abolition of the senate, the abolition of plural votes, as well as the introduction of women's right to vote. However, Labour deputies resigned from their posts in July 1946 due to mass redundancies at the Dockyards. In the meantime, the 'MacMichael Constitution' had been introduced, granting self-government to the Maltese. Labour's participation in the subsequent October, 1947 elections was once again supported by the General Workers' Union. The Party won 59.9% of the vote and twenty-four seats out of the possible forty within the Legislative Assembly. Paul Boffa became Prime Minister whilst Dom Mintoff became Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Reconstruction. The Labour Government introduced Income Tax and Social Services for the first time in Malta.

Re-founding and return to government (1949–1958)

The Labour Party was re-founded in 1949 as a successor to the Labour Party founded in 1921. Dr Paul Boffa, Leader of the Labour Party and Prime Minister since 1947, resigned and left the party because of serious disagreements with his Deputy Dom Mintoff which had led to a series of cabinet crises. Boffa formed the Malta Workers Party (MWP) while Mintoff re-organized the Labour Party as the Malta Labour Party.

The Malta Labour Party contested its first elections for the Malta Legislative Assembly the following year. The old Labour vote was split equally between the MLP and the MWP, giving them eleven members each. This allowed the Nationalist Party (PN) to have a slight edge in the formation of a government, which it did in coalition with the MWP. The government did not last long. Two other elections were held in 1951 and 1953 (the last time a coalition governed in Malta) which both saw short-lived PN-MWP coalitions and the decline in the share of votes to the MWP with increasing support for the Labour Party.

The MWP eventually disintegrated and the MLP formed a government for the first time in 1955. This legislature was dominated by the issue of integration with the United Kingdom. The party, which started its life as an anti-colonial party with the slogan "Integration or self-determination" was now inclined towards the first part of the formula. A referendum was held in 1956 but given the number of abstentions and massive opposition by the Nationalist Party and the Catholic Church, the result was inconclusive. This, together with a number of dismissals at the naval dockyard led to Mintoff's resignation and his call for massive protests in April 1958.

Malta 02 Valletta.jpg

Opposition (1958-71)

The Governor re-established direct colonial government which lasted until 1962. In the meantime, the Malta Labour Party's connections with Third World Independentist and Socialist movements, set it on a collision course with the Maltese Catholic Church, which the Party perceived as pro-British and the cause of failure of the Integration project. This led to the party leadership being interdicted from 1961 to 1964, when reading, advertising and distributing Party newspapers was deemed a mortal sin. In the 1962 elections this led to the defeat of the Party at the polls as well as a split with the creation of the Christian Workers' Party. Peace with the Church would not be made until 1969 by which time the Christian Workers' Party had disintegrated.

The MLP participated in independence talks but disagreed with what was offered, causing them to not participate in the Independence celebrations when independence was actually achieved in 1964. The party made strong gains in the 1966 elections which, however, were not enough to see it in office.

An unimportant split occurred in 1969 when the Communist Party of Malta was founded. This split happened as a result of the truce between the Malta Labour Party and local Catholic authorities. The Communist Party has since only contested the 1987 elections.

The post-Independence Mintoff governments (1971-84)

The MLP won the 1971 general election and immediately set out to re-negotiate the post-Independence military and financial agreements with the United Kingdom. The party also undertook massive nationalization programmes whilst setting up various State owned companies and investments and expansion of the welfare state introducing several benefits to workers and families and further introducing acts of parliament aimed at employee rights and trade union rights. Malta became a republic in 1974. The Malta Labour Party won the 1976 elections. Amongst other things, homosexual relationships and adultery were decriminalised and the Government managed to secularise the State introducing civil marriages and modernising Maltese civil law. A law that gave males and females a right to the same wage for the same work done was also enacted amongst employment laws enacted at the time.

In 1981 the Party managed to hold on to a parliamentary majority, even though the opposition Nationalist Party managed an absolute majority of more than 4000 votes. A serious political crisis ensued when Nationalists MPsrefused to accept the perverse electoral result and also refused to take their seats in parliament for the first years of the legislature. Premier Mintoff called this result a "perverse" one, but not an uncommon one in any parliamentary democracy. He proposed to his parliamentary group that fresh elections be held, but most members of his Parliamentary group rejected this proposal. Mintoff, who had been considering vacating the party leadership position even before the December '81 elections, voluntarily, resigned as Prime Minister and Party leader in 1984 (although he retained his parliamentary seat). An MLP extraordinary General Conference in that same year appointed an uncontested Dr. Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici as party leader.

The post-Mintoff era (1984–92)

The Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici years were charactherised by political tensions and violence . The MLP parliamentary group, led by leader Dr. Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici, proposed constitutional amendments in 1987, which guaranteed that the party with a majority of vote will be given a majority of seats. Thanks to the late constitutional amendment in January 1987, after the five-year struggle for democracy, the Partit Nazzjonalista returned to Government. The MLP lost government after 3 consecutive elections in 1987, but remained a strong political force and a parliamentary opposition.

The Labour party performed very badly in 1992, losing the election with nearly 13,000 votes and Mifsud Bonnici resigned due to deteriorating health. On the 26th of March 1992 the MLP elected Dr Alfred Sant as the new Party leader.

Modernisation (post-1992)

Dr.Sant who won the election for party leader, and then modernized the party, secured a victory at the polls in 1996. Under Sant's leadership the party made several changes. The party opened the new Labour Party Headquarters in Hamrun instead of the old Macina in Cottonera. The party also made giant steps in the media by being the first Maltese political party to own its radio and television stations.

Sant managed to win comfortably the 1996 elections held on the 26th of October by over 7,500 votes on the Nationalist Party. The 1987 constitutional amendments, which secured the necessary additional seats, had to be used for the second time, having been used for the same time in 1987. This same amendment had to be used a third time in 2008

However, trouble was brewing. Mr Mintoff, for reasons known to him alone (within the MLP), started creating problems in Parliament for the one seat Labour parliamentary majority. In summer of 1998 Labour lost a division vote on the proposed Cottonera waterfront project because of Mintoff's renegation on his parliamentary group. This was considered by the House Leader Dr. Alfred Sant as a vote of no confidence in his government and informed the then President of the Republic that he no longer held the parliamentary majority. The President had on various occasions asked Prime Minister Alfred Sant to try and find a solution for the political crisis created, but when all attempts proved futile, had no other option but to accept Dr. Sant and his government's resignation and a call for early elections. On the 3rd August 1998, Parliament was dissolved and early elections were announced by Alfred Sant to be held on the 5th September. the Malta Labour Party was defeated with a wide 13,000 vote margin.

Back in opposition, the party campaigned unsuccessfully against EU membership, and the 'NO' camp lost the referendum for the ascension of Malta in the European Union on the 8th March (although Dr. Sant claimed victory) and was again defeated in the general election a month on, on the 12th April 2003 once more with a 12,000 vote margin. Sant resigned but stood again for election of Leadership of the Party where he was voted again as leader with more than 65% of the votes.

In June 2004 the party succeeded in obtaining a relative majority of votes in the elections held to elect the first five Maltese MEPs for the European Parliament[4]. The party elected 3 of his candidates: Joseph Muscat (later replaced by Glenn Bedingfield), John Attard Montalto and Louis Grech.

In 2008 the Labour Party lost for the third consecutive time in the 2008 general elections, obtaining 48.79% share of the vote[5] and losing the election to the Nationalist Party by just 1,580 votes or 0.5%. Following the loss of the election, Sant resigned as Labour Party leader on 10 March 2008.

The first round of the election of the new leader were held on 5 June 2008. Five members contested this election as candidates: George Abela (a former Deputy Leader), Evarist Bartolo (a frontbench MP and ex-Minister), Marie Louise Coleiro Preca (a frontbench MP and former Secretary-General of the Party), Michael Falzon (an MP and Deputy Leader of the Party) and Joseph Muscat (an MEP). In the first round neither candidate obtained 50%+1 the majority of the votes. So a run up election had to be held on the 6th June between the top two candidates who obtained the most number of votes, Dr. George Abela and Dr. Joseph Muscat. Dr Joseph Muscat was elected Labour Party leader, gathering 66.36% of the total votes. He was co-opted in Parliament and appointed Leader of the Opposition on the 1st October.

Joseph Muscat, Labour Party Leader

During an Extraordinary General Conference, held in November 2008, it was decided that the party's official name will be Partit Laburista instead of its former name Malta Labour Party.

In June 2009 the party garnered 57 percent of the first preference votes in the election for the European Parliament, electing 3 MEPs who sit with the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.

Organisations of the Labour Party

FZL Labour Youth Forum (Maltese: Forum Żgħażagħ Laburisti, FZL)
LGBT Labour (Malta) the Labour Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights
Labour Women
Labour veteran
IDEAT

Electoral performance

General Elections

Year Votes % Seats Outcome
1921 4,037 19.72% 7 Popular Union Victory
1924 4,632 19.24% 7 Popular Union/Nationalist Party Coalition Victory
1927 5,011 14.55% 3 Constitutional Party/Labour Party Coalition Victory
1932 4,138 8.57% 1 Nationalist Party Victory
1939 3,100 8.82% 1 Constitutional Party Victory
1947 63,145 59.86% 24 Labour Party Victory
1950 30,332 28.58% 11 Nationalist Party Victory
1951 40,208 35.70% 14 Nationalist Party Victory
1953 52,771 44.55% 19 Nationalist Party Victory
1955 68,447 56.73% 23 Malta Labour Party Victory
1962 50,974 33.85% 16 Nationalist Party Victory
1966 61,774 43.09% 22 Nationalist Party Victory
1971 85,448 50.84% 28 Malta Labour Party Victory
1976 105,854 51.53% 34 Malta Labour Party Victory
1981 109,990 49.07% 34 Malta Labour Party Victory
1987 114,936 48.87% 34 Nationalist Party Victory
1992 114,911 46.50% 31 Nationalist Party Victory
1996 132,497 50.72% 31+4 Malta Labour Party Victory
1998 124,220 46.97% 30 Nationalist Party Victory
2003 134,092 47.51% 30 Nationalist Party Victory
2008 141,888 48.79% 34 Nationalist Party Victory

(Source: maltadata.com [1])

The first election under universal suffrage in which all women aged over 21 could vote.

The 1981 election produced a perverse result, as the Opposition Nationalist Party had more votes than the ruling Malta Labour Party.

Elections to the European Parliament

Year Votes % Seats Outcome
2004 118,983 48.4% 3 Malta Labour Party Victory
2009 135,917 54.77% 3 Labour Party Victory

(Source: maltadata.com [2])

The Labour party will get Malta's additional 6th seat when the Treaty of Lisbon comes into effect.

Party leadership

Leaders of the Labour Party

See List of Malta Labour Party leaders

Deputy leaders of the Labour Party in the Maltese House of Representatives since 1920

Deputy leaders of the Labour Party Affairs since 1976

See also

References

External links


Partit Laburista
Labour Party
Leader Joseph Muscat
Founded October 15, 1920
Headquarters Ċentru Nazzjonali Laburista
Triq Mile End
Hamrun
Political Ideology Democratic socialism,
Social Democracy,
and historically pro-British
International Affiliation Socialist International
European Affiliation Party of European Socialists
European Parliament Group Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
Colour Red
Seats in the European Parliament 3
Website www.mlp.org.mt
See also Politics of Malta

Political parties
Elections

Malta

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
Malta



Other countriesTemplate:· Atlas
 Politics portal

The Labour Party (PL, Maltese: Partit Laburista) is one of two major contemporary political parties in Malta, along with the Nationalist Party. It is currently the main party of opposition in Malta having thirty-four of the sixty-nine seats in the Maltese House of Representatives[1].

Contents

History

Foundation (1920–1949)

The inequalities that existed at the time led to the riots of 7 June 1919 (Sette Giugno) – the importers of grain were the main targets, and four workers died at the hands of British soldiers. The outcome of the riots was the granting of the constitution in 1921, which, however, did not secure the interests of the lower classes and did not include material improvement in its clauses. The constitution retained the status quo by securing the interests of the colonial authorities and the traditional middle classes, made up of categories such as the clerical and the legal-professional. Incidentally, the two official languages earmarked in the constitution were English and Italian – the languages spoken by the dominant classes. The Maltese language, spoken by the lower classes, was out of sight. The language question was a very controversial issue at the time, due to its social and political implications. It was in that tense atmosphere that the Labour Party in Malta was born. The founding fathers of the Party belonged mainly to a dockyard union – the Imperial Government Workers Union. Indeed, the Dockyards have often been referred to as the "cradle of the Labour Movement" (Zammit, 1984: 42). Writing about Dockyard workers, sociologist Edward Zammit states that they "gained the reputation of being the most militant, organised, radical and united group of workers in Malta." (1984: 43). It was one of the union branches affiliated with the British Workers' Union – the Camera del Lavoro – which formed a party in 1921 with the aim of representing workers. Band clubs and other organisations were invited to form part of the Party, and its first meeting was held on 15 March 1921 – the 30th anniversary of Pope Leo XIII's issuing of the Rerum Novarum, the Catholic Church's social encyclical. The Party was christened Partit tal-Haddiema (Workers' Party). Various founders of the Labour Party, hailing from Catholic and populist backgrounds, were highly influenced by the Rerum Novarum. These included Gianni Bencini, Alfons Maria Galea, Canon Carmelo Bugeja, and Mgr. Professor Mikiel Gonzi. Such activists were particularly influential and powerful in the first few years of the Party, and they propagated the introduction of legislation that gave rights to workers along the Catholic teachings of the Catholic social encyclical.

The Labour Party soon started participating in Malta's general elections. The Party, led by Colonel William Savona contested the general elections held in 1921 under the new Constitution that gave the country a measure of self-government. According to this constitution which provided for a bi-cameral legislative body, only persons above a certain income bracket could vote. The other three parties to contest the general elections were the conservative parties Unione Politica Maltese and Partito Democratico Nazionalista, as well as the pro-British Constitutional Party. The Labour-Constitutional alliance won the 1927 general elections, but Labour lost ground, gaining 13.9% of votes, three seats in the legislative assembly and no representation in the Senate. Strickland became Prime Minister. Labour leader Savona was not elected, and the leadership of the Labour parliamentary group was entrusted to Colonel Michael Dundon.

In 1927, William Savona resigned as President of the Party, being replaced by Dr. Paul Boffa. Boffa – a medical doctor by profession – also became leader of the parliamentary group and of the Party, replacing Dundon, who resigned due to health reasons. Labour gained nine seats out of ten in the elections held during November, 1945, in which, contrarily to previous elections, all men over twenty-one years of age were entitled to vote. The Party's electoral programme, for the first time in Labour's history, did not make any reference to religion. Boffa's Government was supported by the General Workers Union, and it carried out a number of reforms, such as the abolition of the senate, the abolition of plural votes, as well as the introduction of women's right to vote. However, Labour deputies resigned from their posts in July 1946 due to mass redundancies at the Dockyards. In the meantime, the 'MacMichael Constitution' had been introduced, granting self-government to the Maltese. Labour's participation in the subsequent October, 1947 elections was once again supported by the General Workers Union. The Party won 59.9% of the vote and twenty-four seats out of the possible forty within the Legislative Assembly. Paul Boffa became Prime Minister whilst Dom Mintoff became Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Reconstruction. The Labour Government introduced Income Tax and Social Services for the first time in Malta.

Re-foundation (1949–1962)

The Labour Party was re-founded in 1949 as a successor to the Labour Party founded in 1921. Dr Paul Boffa, Leader of the Labour Party and Prime Minister since 1947, resigned and left the party because of serious disagreements with his Deputy Dom Mintoff which had led to a series of cabinet crises. Boffa formed the Malta Workers Party (MWP) while Mintoff re-organized the Labour Party as the Malta Labour Party.

The Malta Labour Party contested its first elections for the Malta Legislative Assembly the following year. The old Labour vote was split equally between the MLP and the MWP, giving them eleven members each. This allowed the Nationalist Party (PN) to have a slight edge in the formation of a government, which it did in coalition with the MWP. The government did not last long. Two other elections were held in 1951 and 1953 (the last time a coalition governed in Malta) which both saw short-lived PN-MWP coalitions and the decline in the share of votes to the MWP with increasing support for the Labour Party.

The MWP eventually disintegrated and the MLP formed a government for the first time in 1955. This legislature was dominated by the issue of integration with the United Kingdom. The party, which started its life as an anti-colonial party with the slogan "Integration or self-determination" was now inclined towards the first part of the formula. A referendum was held in 1956 but given the number of abstentions and massive opposition by the Nationalist Party and the Catholic Church, the result was inconclusive. This, together with a number of dismissals at the naval dockyard led to Mintoff's resignation and his call for massive protests in April 1958.

The Mintoff Era (1962–1984)

, Labour Prime Minister 1955–1958 and 1971-1984]] The Governor re-established direct colonial government which lasted until 1962. In the meantime, the Malta Labour Party's connections with Third World Independentist and Socialist movements, set it on a collision course with the Maltese Catholic Church, which the Party perceived as pro-British and the cause of failure of the Integration project. This led to the party leadership being interdicted from 1961 to 1964, when reading, advertising and distributing Party newspapers was deemed a mortal sin. In the 1962 elections this led to the defeat of the Party at the polls as well as a split with the creation of the Christian Workers' Party. Peace with the Church would not be made until 1969 by which time the Christian Workers' Party had disintegrated.

The MLP participated in independence talks but disagreed with what was offered, causing them to not participate in the Independence celebrations when independence was actually achieved in 1964. The party made strong gains in the 1966 elections which, however, were not enough to see it in office.

An unimportant split occurred in 1969 when the Communist Party of Malta was founded. This split happened as a result of the truce between the Malta Labour Party and local Catholic authorities. The Communist Party has since only contested the 1987 elections.

The MLP won the 1971 general election and immediately set out to re-negotiate the post-Independence military and financial agreements with the United Kingdom. The party also undertook massive nationalization programmes whilst setting up various State owned companies and investments and expansion of the welfare state introducing several benefits to workers and families and further introducing acts of parliament aimed at employee rights and trade union rights. Malta became a republic in 1974. The Malta Labour Party won the 1976 elections. Amongst other things, homosexual relationships and adultery were decriminalised and the Government managed to secularise the State introducing civil marriages and modernising Maltese civil law. A law that gave males and females a right to the same wage for the same work done was also enacted amongst employment laws enacted at the time.

In 1981 the Party managed to hold on to a parliamentary majority, even though the opposition Nationalist Party managed an absolute majority of more than 4000 votes. A serious political crisis ensued when Nationalists MPsrefused to accept the perverse electoral result and also refused to take their seats in parliament for the first years of the legislature. Premier Mintoff called this result a "perverse" one, but not an uncommon one in any parliamentary democracy. He proposed to his parliamentary group that fresh elections be held, but most members of his Parliamentary group rejected this proposal. Mintoff, who had been considering vacating the party leadership position even before the December '81 elections, voluntarily, resigned as Prime Minister and Party leader in 1984 (although he retained his parliamentary seat). An MLP extraordinary General Conference in that same year appointed an uncontested Dr. Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici as party leader.

1984–1992

The Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici years were charactherised by political tensions and violence . The MLP parliamentary group, led by leader Dr. Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici, proposed constitutional amendment]]s in 1987, which guaranteed that the party with a majority of vote will be given a majority of seats. Thanks to the late constitutional amendment in January 1987, after the five-year struggle for democracy, the Partit Nazzjonalista returned to Government. The MLP lost governmant after 3 consecutive elections in 1987, but remained a strong political force and a parliamentary opposition. The Labour party performed very badly in 1992, losing the election with nearly 13,000 votes and Mifsud Bonnici resigned due to deteriorating health. On the 26th of March 1992 the MLP elected Dr Alfred Sant as the new Party leader.

1992–2008

, Labour Prime Minister 1996–1998]]Dr.Sant who won the election for party leader, and then modernized the party, secured a victory at the polls in 1996. Under Sant's leadership the party made several changes. The party opened the new Labour Party Headquarters in Hamrun instead of the old Macina in Cottonera. The party also made giant steps in the media by being the first Maltese political party to own its radio and television stations.

Dr.Sant managed to win comfortably the 1996 elections held on the 26th of October by over 7,500 votes on the Nationalist Party. The 1987 constitutional amendments, which secured the necessary additional seats, had to be used for the second time, having been used for the same time in 1987. This same amendment had to be used a third time in 2008

However, trouble was brewing. Mr Mintoff, for reasons known to him alone (within the MLP), started creating problems in Parliament for the one seat Labour parliamentary majority. In summer of 1998 Labour lost a division vote on the proposed Cottonera waterfront project because of Mintoff's renegation on his parliamentary group. This was considered by the House Leader Dr. Alfred Sant as a vote of no confidence in his government and informed the then President of the Republic that he no longer held the parliamentary majority. The President had on various occasions asked Prime Minister Alfred Sant to try and find a solution for the political crisis created, but when all attempts proved futile, had no other option but to accept Dr. Sant and his government's resignation and a call for early elections. On the 3rd August 1998, Parliament was dissolved and early elections were announced by Alfred Sant to be held on the 5th September. the Malta Labour Party was defeated with a wide 13,000 vote margin.

Back in opposition, the party campaigned unsuccessfully against EU membership, and the 'NO' camp lost the referendum for the ascension of Malta in the European Union on the 8th March (although Dr. Sant claimed victory) and was again defeated in the general election a month on, on the 12th April 2003 once more with a 12,000 vote margin. Sant resigned but stood again for election of Leadership of the Party where he was voted again as leader with more than 65% of the votes.

In June 2004 the party succeeded in obtaining a relative majority of votes in the elections held to elect the first five Maltese MEPs for the European Parliament[2]. The party elected 3 of his candidates: Joseph Muscat, John Attard Montalto and Louis Grech. After Joseph Muscat was elected party leader, his parliamentary seat in the European Parliament was filled up by Glenn Bedingfield, after a casual election was held.

2008–present

In 2008 the Labour Party lost for the third consecutive time in the 2008 general elections, obtaining 48.79% share of the vote[3] and losing the election to the Nationalist Party by just 1,580 votes or 0.5%. Following the loss of the election, Sant resigned as Labour Party leader on 10 March 2008.

The first round of the election of the new leader were held on 5 June, 2008. Five members contested this election as candidates: George Abela (a former Deputy Leader), Evarist Bartolo (a frontbench MP and ex-Minister), Marie Louise Coleiro Preca (a frontbench MP and former Secretary-General of the Party), Michael Falzon (an MP and Deputy Leader of the Party) and Joseph Muscat (an MEP). In the first round neither candidate obtained 50%+1 the majority of the votes. So a run up election had to be held on the 6th June between the top two candidates who obtained the most number of votes, Dr. George Abela and Dr. Joseph Muscat. Dr Joseph Muscat was elected Labour Party leader, gathering 66.36% of the total votes. , Labour Party (Malta) Leader]]

Today

The Party owns a television station that broadcasts at a national level, One Television, and a radio station that also broadcasts on a national scale, One Radio. The Party issues the Sunday weekly KullĦadd and also runs the on-line newspaper Maltastar.

The party presently holds 34 seats in the 69 member House of Representatives.

It is a member of the Party of European Socialists (PES) and its 3 MEPs in the European Parliament sit in the PES Group. In June 2009 the party won the European Parliament elections for the second time by a landslide, garnering 57 percent of the first count votes to the PN’s 40 percent[4]. The party elected 3 of his candidates: Louis Grech, Edward Scicluna and John Attard Montalto.

The party is led by Dr Joseph Muscat, who was elected Leader on the 6th June 2008. He was appointed Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives of Malta on the 1st October, a few minutes after he was co-opted as a member of parliament.

During an Extraordinary General Conference, held in November 2008, it was decided that the party's official name will be Partit Laburista instead of its former name Malta Labour Party.

L-Innu Partit Laburista (in English: The Labour Party Hymn) is the anthem of the party. It was composed by Mro. Hector Dalli in (1928) and the lyrics were written by Guze Ellul Mercer in (1926). The hymn was played by the Zejtun Band[5].

The party also has a faction for youths known as the Labour Youth Forum this faction promotes the Labour Party among youths. Another Labour faction among youths is student organization Pulse. Although not an official branch, Pulse is an organization that enhances social democrat values (similar to the party's) at both the University of Malta and the Junior College , this helps the party to gain popularity at these institutions.

Electoral performance

This chart shows the electoral performance of the Labour Party in Maltese general election since 1921. (Source [1])

Election Number of votes for

Labour Party'

Share of votes Seats Outcome of election
1921 4,037 19.72% 7 Popular Union Victory
1924 4,632 19.24% 7 Popular Union/Nationalist Party Coalition Victory
1927 5,011 14.55% 3 Constitutional Party/Labour Party Coalition Victory
1932 4,138 8.57% 1 Nationalist Party Victory
1939 3,100 8.82% 1 Constitutional Party Victory
1947 63,145 59.86% 24 Labour Party Victory
1950 30,332 28.58% 11 Nationalist Party Victory
1951 40,208 35.70% 14 Nationalist Party Victory
1953 52,771 44.55% 19 Nationalist Party Victory
1955 68,447 56.73% 23 Malta Labour Party Victory
1962 50,974 33.85% 16 Nationalist Party Victory
1966 61,774 43.09% 22 Nationalist Party Victory
1971 85,448 50.84% 28 Malta Labour Party Victory
1976 105,854 51.53% 34 Malta Labour Party Victory
1981 109,990 49.07% 34 Malta Labour Party Victory
1987 114,936 48.87% 34 Nationalist Party Victory
1992 114,911 46.50% 31 Nationalist Party Victory
1996 132,497 50.72% 31+4 Malta Labour Party Victory
1998 124,220 46.97% 30 Nationalist Party Victory
2003 134,092 47.51% 30 Nationalist Party Victory
2008 141,888 48.79% 34 Nationalist Party Victory

The first election under universal suffrage in which all women aged over 21 could vote.

The 1981 election produced a perverse result, as the Opposition Nationalist Party had more votes than the ruling Malta Labour Party.

Malta European Parliament Elections Performance

This chart shows the electoral performance of the Labour Party in Maltese elections for the EU Parliament since 2004. (Source [2])

Election Number of votes for

Labour Party'

Share of votes Seats Outcome of election
2004 118,983 48.4% 3 Malta Labour Party Victory
2009 135,917 54.77% 4 Labour Party Victory

Leaders of the Labour Party

See also List of Labour Party leaders

Deputy leaders of the Labour Party in the Maltese House of Representatives since 1921

Deputy leaders of the Labour Party Affairs since 1976

See also

References

External links


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