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MW 14 June 2017

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maltatoday, WEDNESDAY, 14 JUNE 2017 News 6 THROUGHOUT the election campaign Nationalist party candidates constantly reported positive feedback about Labour voters and switchers who were returning to the PN fold or even voting PN for the first time. It was this feedback, which increased confidence among Nationalist ranks that the elec- tion was winnable. Based on this feedback some PN officials were even imagining a repeat of 2008. But while pre-electoral sur- veys confirmed the shift from the PL to the PN, they also showed a smaller but signifi- cant counter shift from the PN to the PL. This meant that the PN could no longer bank on Labour voters staying at home. The election hinged on shifts between parties and on new voters. Surveys published by Torca and MaltaToday one week be- fore the election concurred in showing a shift from the PL to the PN. MaltaToday's surveys also indicated that apart from a third of switchers, around 3% of PL voters in the 2008 general election were going to vote PN. Both the MaltaToday and Torca penultimate surveys showed 6% of Labour's 2013 voters shifting to the PN. In real terms this would mean the PN gaining between 9,381 votes (Torca) and 10,555 votes (MaltaToday). While the Torca survey showed the PN losing 3.6% of its 2013 vote to Labour, Mal- taToday showed the PN losing 3.3%. This would mean that the PN was losing between 4,370 votes (MaltaToday) and 4,767 votes (Torca) to the PL. The final survey by MaltaTo- day carried out in election week showed 4% of PN voters in 2013 shifting to the PL and 5.8% of PL voters in 2013 shifting to the PN. On the other hand the final Torca survey showed 5.1% of PL voters in 2013 voting PN and 6.3% of PN voters opting for the PL. This may suggest that by the final week of the campaign the percentage of PN voters shifting to Labour was on the increase. The final Torca survey even suggested that the two swings would have nearly cancelled each other out. While the PL was losing 8,544 votes to the PN, the PN was losing 8,343 to the PL. On the other hand the MaltaToday survey still showed the PL losing 9,717 votes to the PN and the PN losing 5,297. All other surveys conducted during the campaign by the Independent and TVM's Xara- bank also showed Labour losing more to the PN than the PN los- ing to Labour. But in MaltaTo- day's survey the number of PN voters shifting to the PL dou- bled from the first week of the campaign to the last one. While under-representation of this category of voters in surveys may indicate that it was too shy to express its voting intentions, its increase during the electoral campaign may indicate that La- bour's campaign was more ef- fective with this category. A PL strategy? The PL may have been all the way banking on compensat- ing losses among switchers and disgruntled Labourites by some gains in the PN's 2013 cohort. In fact the active role of for- mer Nationalists like Karl Stag- no Navarra, Ian Castaldi Paris and Robert Musumeci in the campaign, both in the social media and on One TV suggests that there was a plan. Moreo- ver surveys conducted before the electoral campaign already showed 4% of PN voters in 2013 shifting to the PL. By moving his party to the centre-right on economic issues while retaining a centre-left ap- peal on social issues, Muscat may have deliberately banked on a shift of Nationalist voters coming to his rescue. This shift also included traditionally Na- tionalist-leaning categories who are benefitting from the con- struction and property boom and also others who approved of the introduction of more civil liberties like gay rights. Moreover unlike switchers in 2013 who may have been mo- tivated by good governance is- sues and thus more susceptible to Muscat's constant failures on this front, this category of Nationalist voters are intrinsi- cally tolerant of bad govern- ance which was far from absent under PN administrations, and more appreciative of economic stability. By dispelling their fear that Labour would ruin economic stability, Muscat was no longer seen as a threat by Nationalist voters who identified with the PN precisely for that reason. This category may also include voters who had grown used to identify with the PN as a natu- ral party of government and came to see Muscat's party in the same way. Such voters who supported the PN as a bastion against what they perceived as a chaotic and unpredictable La- bour party, may have come to Due to the increase in the Company's operation, particular the West Mediterranean market needs Apprentice Flight Dispatcher. The ideal candidate would be Native Arabic speaker who speaks also fluently French, Italian and English and in additional Russian to be able to communicate internally with Crew and Airports Agents. At least one year of experience is required in Avia- tion Business in a different Departments : Opera- tion Office, Handling, Airport's Agents. Communication Skills – listening skills, verbal skills, written skills, team work, problem solving, International Studies and Experience shall be pre- fers Full time and contract basis offer. Contact : Luxwing Ltd, Aircraft Company Vacancy The new switchers Surveys held before the general election had already shown two counter swings, one from the PN to the PL and one from the PL to the PN. But was the former underestimated and how could the PN have lost more of its voters than it had already done in 2013? Love triangle lands man in custody after beating up ex-cop A man accused of severely beating up a for- mer police inspector, whose estranged wife he was in a relationship with, was refused bail yesterday after denying the accusations. David Joseph Gauci, 29, of Birkirkara plead- ed not guilty to charges of having grievously injured the ex-inspector, damaging his car and breaching the peace in a fight which spilled out onto the street outside Smart Su- permarket in Birkirkara on Monday. The ex-cop was released on bail after being charged with slightly injuring the 29-year- old in the domestic disturbance. He also has a history of run-ins with the law, which in- clude a drunken rant outside the Police HQ in Floriana and threatening to kill his own ex-partner in 2012. The court had ordered a ban on the publi- cation of the former police inspector's name in that case, in order to protect the separat- ing couple's offspring. Gauci's law yer, Yanika Camilleri, told magistrate Neville Camilleri that it was the former police inspector who had gone to Gauci's residence, apparently on a parental access visit, which turned into an assault. She requested bail for Gauci, who had been jailed in 2012 after pleading guilty to steal- ing a car stereo. But prosecuting police Inspector Elton Taliana objected to the man's release. "This conf lict has been bubbling away for some time before it erupted," he submitted. "This was not a one-off fight." The court, in view of the charges and the accused's criminal record, refused bail at this stage, saying it was not satisfied that in the case that the accused is released, he would be able to abide by the bail conditions imposed on him by the court. This was met with a loud chorus of dissent from Gauci's family members, who were angered by the fact that the other man had been granted bail. "This is a huge injustice. He came for him in his own home!" Gauci's mother shouted.

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