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[SURVEY] Joseph Muscat reaps divorce dividends as PN nosedives
Full data for post-referendum survey held in June 2011 - 53% expect parliamentarians to vote Yes
12 June 2011, 12:00am
FULL DATA below
On the other side of the divide, Muscat registers his second highest trust rating (42%) since he was elected Labour leader in 2008. The trust gap between the two leaders has increased from 10 points in March to 18 points now. Muscat’s gains come in the wake of a 4-point drop in respondents undecided on which leader to trust. The number of those who trust none of the two leaders has remained the same. Both Muscat and Gonzi remain more popular than their respective parties.
Moreover, when it comes to voting intentions, the Labour Party scores its best result in the past two years, reaching the 38% mark. On the other hand, the Nationalist Party barely reaches the 16% mark. This shows that a significant 7% of respondents prefer Gonzi to Muscat but would not vote for the PN.
The survey shows that the divorce issue has dented support for the Nationalist party. While 20% of respondents who voted Yes in the referendum had voted for the PN in the 2008 general election, only 6% intend to vote for the PN again if an election is held now.
On the other hand, the Labour Party suffers no negative consequences from the ‘personal’ Yes stand of its leader, retaining all 15.3% of No voters who had voted Labour in 2008.
Labour sees its support among pro-divorce voters rise from 58% in 2008 to 63% now.
Despite its clear pro-divorce stance during the referendum campaign, AD registers a slight drop in its support since March.
The survey confirms that the PL has continued to make gains among Nationalist voters with a staggering 12% of Nationalist voters in 2008 now saying that they will be voting Labour. The survey also shows a 10-point increase among Nationalist voters now planning to abstain in a forthcoming election.
Majority expects MPs to ratify referendum result
An absolute majority of 53% expects MPs to ratify the referendum result by voting Yes for the divorce bill currently being discussed in parliament. Only 34% would like MPs to vote according to their conscience while a minimal 4% think that MPs should vote according to their conscience as long as the overall result respects the referendum result, as proposed by the Prime Minister.
Significantly the survey shows that 47% of PN voters in the 2008 election expect MPs to vote Yes. The survey also shows that a significant number of No voters have come round to expect a Yes vote in parliament. In fact, nearly a quarter of No voters now expect MPs to vote Yes. This could reflect the position of a growing number of Nationalist MPs arguing for a Yes vote in parliament as party leader Lawrence Gonzi failed to give an indication on how he is going to vote while senior ministers like Austin Gatt have already made it clear that they will be voting No.
Surprisingly 23% of Labour voters and 15% of yes voters now expect MPs to vote according to their conscience. This could reflect confusion among Labour voters who were used to hearing their leader promising a free vote on divorce to his MPs, a position which came back to haunt him after veteran MP Marie-Louise Coleiro declared her intention to abstain while fellow MP Adrian Vassallo announced his intention to vote No.
The survey was conducted between Thursday 3 and Friday 10 June. 587 persons were contacted by telephone after being randomly selected from telephone directories. 400 accepted to participate. 300 of these respondents were asked questions for a survey conducted by newspaper Illum. QuestionS on voting intentions were asked before the question on trust in the Prime Minister and the leader of the Opposition. The results were weighed to reflect the age and sex distribution of the population. The survey has a margin of error of +/-4.9%.