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Our Labour landslide victory/mid-summer election story is just an April Fools' prank

News agencies around the world fool their readers

Labour Party supporters celebrating the 2013 election victory. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Labour Party supporters celebrating the 2013 election victory. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Many will be relieved to know they can enjoy their summer without political histrionics after a story uploaded on Times of Malta this morning claimed a general election would be held in August.

The April Fools’ joke claimed that surveys carried out this week have shown a spike in support for Labour, with one poll showing the party stands to win by a majority of over 38,000 votes.

The fictitious story said the Labour Party wanted to call an election seven months before the due date because of concerns of further Panama Papers-related leaks. It said mobile booths on beaches would be installed to help voters.

Though many realised it was an April Fools’ joke, aided especially by the mysteriously-named dodgy company Lipra Loof (April Fool), many others fell for the prank.

M.Attard said it doesn't make sense to put polling booths on beaches and then forget those who are abroad. Many scoffed at the unidentified source saying that only a major scandal can possibly derail Labour from a major victory.

“How many more major scandals do you want?” Stephen Forster wrote.

Newspapers and companies around the world traditionally fool their followers with pranks on April 1.

The Guardian said former chancellor George Osborne will now be taking on a new job as a fashion designer while The Telegraph claimed polar bears had been spotted in Scotland. 

The jokes transcended the media landscape – in a tweet, Germany's UK embassy said the German government will hold an in-out referendum on leaving Central European Time (CET)!

PL surveys suggest voters have responded positively to Joseph Muscat's increased international profile.PL surveys suggest voters have responded positively to Joseph Muscat's increased international profile.

Times of Malta's spoof story:

The Prime Minister is mulling an August general election, as polls show a "walkover" victory for the Labour Party, Times of Malta has learnt.

Surveys carried out this week have shown a spike in support for Labour, with one poll showing the party stands to win by a majority of over 40,000 votes.

The growing support is believed to be associated with Joseph Muscat's stature on the European stage as Malta holds the EU presidency, with voters particularly taken by photos of Dr Muscat standing alongside EU presidents Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk.  

"It's a walkover. Only a major scandal can possibly stop Labour at this stage," a party insider said.

Sources said Dr Muscat was mulling an August 18 or August 25 election, called right after the EU presidency, which would mean it would be the first time that a general election is held in the middle of summer.

A leaked e-mail seen by Times of Malta says the government will argue that a swift election was being called so as "not to disrupt the country's economic development".

Top PL official has threatened to go public with details of offshore company Lirpa Loof

Dr Muscat is believed to want to hasten the process ahead of the 2018 Budget and before Valletta assumes the role of European capital of culture in January.

But a source close to the Labour Party claimed the plan to call an election seven months before the due date is due to concerns of further Panama Papers-related leaks.

Times of Malta is informed that a top PL official, irked at having been passed over for a plum job in Brussels, has threatened to go public with information linking a top cabinet member to an offshore firm with a seven-figure bank account. 

The company, Lirpa Loof Inc, was reportedly opened during Queen Elizabeth's 2015 visit to Malta. 

Strategists at the PL's headquarters are also concerned about potential backlash to government plans to give the go-ahead to a new high-rise project in Gozo, which would prove very controversial. No further details were available.

The leaked e-mail also reveals the government plans to introduce around 40 mobile voting booths in strategic spots around the island, including beaches and entertainment hotspot Paceville.

Should it be implemented, the plan would involve immense logistical problems not just on issues of security but because the ballot boxes would be mixed, thus prolonging the counting process for the Electoral Commission.

The Nationalist Party is expected to fiercely oppose the proposal.

Joseph Muscat casting his vote in 2013.Joseph Muscat casting his vote in 2013.

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