Next Saturday will see Malta, one of Europe’s smallest democracies, go to the polls.
The Parliament is elected by STV (13 districts, 5 seats in each), but up to 4 top-up seats can be handed out to make the final result more proportional.
The two main parties are Labour - working-class, left-wing, historically pro-British - and Nationalist - middle-class, right-wing, historically pro-Italian. These two parties have won over 90% of the vote between them in every post-independence election, and over 98% in all excluding the first.
The two have also won every seat, with the half-exception of last time, when ex-Labour MPs Marlene and Godfrey Farrugia were elected for the Democratic Party on a joint ticket with the Nationalists.
Historically, turnout is extremely high, and the electorate very inelastic. The 2017 election saw the lowest turnout since the first post-independence election, as only 92.06% of people cast a ballot, and before 2013, the largest first-preference-gap between the parties had been just 5.2%.
The past two elections have been historic Labour landslides, with gaps of 11.5% and 11.3%. Despite the shock of the 2019 political crisis, polling shows Labour on track for another victory - possibly on a low turnout, and probably not as big as previous, but still pretty large by Maltese standards.