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First PM to resign from party after losing just one general election

Lawrence Gonzi's decision to resign the party leadership means he will become the first prime minister to resign after losing just one general election.

In recent years, no prime minister was removed from the leadership of the party after losing one general election.

George Borg Olivier was first appointed prime minister in the early 1950s. He lost to Dom Mintoff in 1955 but stayed on and won in 1962 and 1966. He lost in 1971 but resigned only after losing again in 1976.

Dom Mintoff, who was prime minister in the second half of the 1950s, lost the elections of 1962 (with the same number of electoral seats as in the current general election)  and 1966 but stayed on and won in 1971 and 1976. He lost the popular majority in 1981 but stayed on as party leader until December 1984 when he decided to hand over to Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici.

Dr Mifsud Bonnci lost the general elections of 1987 but only resigned after also losing in 1992.

His successor Alfred Sant won in 1996 but lost in 1998, the EU referendum and the general election of 2003 and again in 2008, when he stepped down.

Dr Gonzi became PN leader and prime minister in 2004 and led the PN to electoral victory in 2008.

When asked at The Times debate what he would do if he lost this time, he said he would stay on as party leader, later clarifying that he would seek out the view of the party delegates. However the extent of the defeat has led him to decide to resign.

 

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