The deadline for my piece on tomorrow’s The Sunday Times loomed large at 10am this morning. I wrote my piece on the basis of what seemed to me to be the likeliest scenario after today’s vote. I wasn’t wrong.

Adrian Delia has been commended to the members of the PN by the members of the general council of the PN: its highest organ, doubled in size and halved in the concentration of political experience since the last leader, Simon Busuttil, was chosen.

The members will make a final call in two weeks’ time. If Chris Said runs against him, Adrian Delia will need to win more votes than his rival. If Chris Said does not run against Adrian Delia at the final round, Delia will ironically need to jump over a higher bar: he needs to be endorsed by 66% of the members who turn out to vote. If he doesn’t, the process is cancelled and it all starts from scratch.

These will be a couple of very dramatic weeks. The future of the Maltese political landscape has not looked this uncertain since 1966. We have yet to see if that will be a good thing or not.

What we have to take account of right now is a short list of facts:

  • Adrian Delia won the largest number of votes in this election.
  • Adrian Delia has not won a majority of votes in the General Council. The majority voted for Chris Said or Alex Perici Calascione heeding in the process the implied advice of Louis Galea’s ethics committee and the outgoing administration that Adrian Delia was not a suitable candidate.
  • Chris Said will now have to assess his chances of beating Adrian Delia at the next poll. They are slim.
  • Many people have the view that an Adrian Delia leadership is not the most desirable outcome for the PN and I know I am making an understatement. But these people are disjointed and intimidated by the wave that has carried Adrian Delia as far as it has.

Napoleon Bonaparte often preached his dream was to unite Europe for the first time since antiquity. He managed: by uniting it against him.