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NEWS | Sunday, 16 March 2008

AD voters show equal sympathy for big parties

James Debono

A MaltaToday analysis shows that votes for AD were inherited by both big parties in equal measure when its candidates were eliminated.
While 33.5% were inherited by the Nationalist party, 30.1% went to the Malta Labour Party. 36.3% were inherited by none of the two parties.
Surprisingly, AN voters on the third district – where Josie Muscat stood as a candidate – were oriented more towards the MLP than towards the PN.
Only 36 out of Muscat’s 170 second count votes were inherited by PN candidates, while 61 were transferred to Labour. AD gained 33 of Muscat’s votes.
Although AD and AN stand on opposite poles of the ideological spectrum, a substantial chunk of AN voters tended to give their second preference to AD.
For example on the 10th district, 27 of Philip Beattie’s 92 votes were inherited by Harry Vassallo.
With only 1,500 votes separating the two parties, the very small third party vote could have swayed the election either way.
But the MaltaToday analysis reveals AD voters do not have a marked sympathy for either big party. In fact more than a third do not even express a subsequent preference in their vote.
The analysis also shows that AD voters in Labour oriented districts tend to transfer their votes to Labour while those in Nationalist oriented districts tend to do the opposite.
Yet there were notable exceptions to this rule with a relative majority of AD voters on the 8th and 12th districts opting for Labour candidates in their subsequent preferences.
On the other hand, where AD scored its best result (the 9th district), the majority of Green voters continued to vote for PN candidates.
44% of AD voters on the these two districts continued voting for the PN when the AD candidate was eliminated. Only 25% continued voting for the MLP.
Yet one should note that AD candidates on these district were eliminated after inheriting a considerable number of votes from PN candidates.
The analysis does not include votes transferred from AD candidates on the 6th and 13th districts, because in these two districts the AD candidates were eliminated together with candidates of other parties.
In the second district, AD and AN candidates were eliminated at the same time, but for the sake of this analysis AN’s transfers were included with those of AD.

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