It’s bad form to be self-referential but I do so in the humble recognition of the fact that writing this morning’s The Sunday Times article ahead of the polling stations opening for business did not require any particular gift of foresight.

The result was almost a foregone conclusion.

There was a brief moment there when as the voting approached there was a nervous doubt about David Casa’s prospects for re-election. The people who were saying they were considering a principled abstention in this vote, worried their choice would have the inadvertent effect of electing some other apologist satellite of Joseph Muscat (whichever party they ran for).

There was a rally in the last days of the campaign among the people Robert Musumeci disdainfully calls ‘the holier than thou’ to hold their noses, like Socialists voting for Chirac to keep Le Pen out of the presidency, and vote PN in order to elect David Casa.

With all the record numbers, the red tsunamis, the flag waving and the soul searching her we are on Sunday evening in exactly the same sea we were kicking in last Friday.

Nothing has changed and nothing looks like changing.

Joseph Muscat is still resoundingly popular. Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri are still safe. Roberta Metsola and , it seems almost certain now also David Casa, will continue their campaign to demand truth and justice in European institutions and they will continue to be branded traitors. Repubblika is still going to court on Tuesday to testify in the Panama Papers inquiry and on Wednesday to continue its arguments on a challenge to Malta’s judicial independence.

And Adrian Delia remains leader of the PN.

Facing the camera, with only his make-up guy and script-writer in the room, Adrian Delia “addressed the nation,” mouthing the paradox that this record defeat somehow proves that “if we continue to work together, we make good steps”.

To where? Oblivion?

But the more things remain the same, the more they change. This is an unstoppable spin down a vortex that drains in the plughole of democracy. Like lambs to the slaughter of populism we’re led.

If the inertia of the Nationalist Party persists; if the delusion persists that this is the ‘fault’ of Simon Busuttil, or Daphne Caruana Galizia or David Casa or faux nationalists who are too obtuse to fall in line and continue to fight the good fight; if the auto-consuming narrative persists that the PN is still being punished for its stewardship of the country before 2013; if the paralysing fear of confronting reality, grabbing it by the horns and making grilled steaks out of it persists; the status quo will not persist.

The Nationalist Party will become an ever smaller party, the Labour Party an ever bigger one.

The one-party state will come to pass.

An eternity of this before your eyes.

What the inept, the inert, the fearful and the confused on the PN Parliamentary benches, the Councillors and the community leaders, such as they are, must now remember is quite stark and simple. At the MEP elections, people who cannot bear what the Nationalist Party they used to vote for has become, still voted for PN candidates to the European Parliament they felt the country needed there.

Robert Metsola and likely David Casa made it home and no one is happier than these reluctant voters are, unhappy as they are with the sight of Adrian Delia’s apparatchiks behaving like this was any given Sunday.

But the question next time round will be different. At the general election, we’ll be asked to cast our vote to elect Adrian Delia to the premiership.

Do the inept, the inert, the fearful and the confused really want to wait for the general election to find out what the reply will be?