The 2014 European election in Malta did not put the party system under stress, and in many ways resembled past elections. The two parties that have dominated Maltese politics since independence shared the seats equally between them. Once again, the ‘third’, green party failed to obtain parliamentary representation, as did the far-right party despite doubling its votes. The good fit with the second-order election model marked Malta as Southern Europe’s misfit. While the comparatively weak impact of the economic crisis was a contributory factor, a combination of institutional, cultural-historical and contextual factors provide a more accurate explanation. Political institutions are particularly relevant because they reinforce the perfect two-party system – the key to Malta’s political stability – and shield it from the challenge of outsiders.