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[FULL DATA] Majority wants an election now

PL leading PN by 13 points as Lawrence Gonzi’s trust rating drops by seven points

james
James Debono
6 February 2012, 12:00am
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi has seen his trust rating plummet by seven points, while the PL has widened its lead over the PN by four points since January, before the no-confidence debate.
Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi has seen his trust rating plummet by seven points, while the PL has widened its lead over the PN by four points since January, before the no-confidence debate.
Bigger swing to Labour | The state of the parties | The state of the leaders | Majority want early election | Methodology

A relative majority of voters (46%) would like to see a general election called immediately following last week's no-confidence vote in parliament, according to a MaltaToday survey.

Only a third of respondents are opposed to holding an election now, but one-fifth are not sure whether an election should be held right now.

This emerges from the latest MaltaToday survey - held between Monday and Thursday - which included a 700-respondent sample. The Labour Party is now 13 percentage points ahead of the PN and is benefiting from a significant nine-point swing from the Nationalist Party.

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi has seen his trust rating plummet by seven points, while the PL has widened its lead over the PN by four points since the last survey, held before the debate on the no confidence motion presented by the Opposition.

Between June 2011 and January this year, Gonzi had seen his trust rating improve by a staggering 11 points from just 24% to 35%. But in the past two weeks the PN leader's support has fallen to 28%. Despite losing ground, Gonzi remains the most trusted leader among respondents with a post-secondary education.

The MaltaToday  survey was held in the aftermath of  Lawrence Gonzi's decision to call for a leadership contest after he survived a no confidence vote in parliament thanks to Franco Debono's abstention and the Speaker Michael Frendo's casting vote.

The Labour Party is now 13 percentage points ahead of the PN and is benefiting from a significant nine-point swing from the Nationalist Party.

The survey suggests that Gonzi's decision to call for a leadership contest in which he will also be a candidate has not paid off with voters.  In fact, Gonzi's trust rating has plummeted from 35% to 28%.

In the last survey - conducted amidst rumours of an imminent general election - Lawrence Gonzi had  narrowed the trust gap between him and Joseph Muscat from seven points in November to four points in January. 

But following the parliamentary vote and Gonzi's decision to call for a leadership contest, the trust gap has increased from four points to 12 points.



Bigger swing to Labour

The survey not only puts Labour in the lead, but shows a nine-point swing from the PN to the PL, up from seven points in the last survey.

This confirms a similar trend in previous MaltaToday surveys which have consistently shown the PN losing 6% to 11% of its voters in 2008.

Respondents were asked to state their present voting intention and for which party they had voted for in the 2008 election. They were also asked to state which political leader they trust most.

Significantly, while 11% of Nationalist voters in 2008 (up from 9% in the last survey) now intend to vote for the PL, less than 2% of Labour voters in 2008 intend to vote for the PN now. There was no change in the number of Labour voters intending to vote PN since the last survey.

This is an indication that recent political events have slightly increased the haemorrhage of voters from the PN to the PL.  Apart from the 11% it loses to the PL, the PN also loses 1.3% of its 2008 voters to AD, up from 0.7% last month.

A further 8% of PN voters in 2008 will not vote if an election is held now, down from 11% last month.

On the other hand, Labour manages to hold on to 80% of its 2008 voters while attracting a significant amount of former Nationalist voters.

The only worrisome sign for Labour is an increase in past Labour voters, who now intend not to vote.  In the past two weeks, these have increased from 1% to 2.5%.

The state of the parties

The survey shows a setback in the Nationalist Party. The drop in support for the PN is corresponded by a five-point increase in undecided voters as Labour enjoys the same level of support it had two weeks ago.

The Nationalist Party, which has registered consistent gains in the past six months, is back to the level of support it enjoyed in September.

The PL, which reached a peak of 38% in the aftermath of the divorce referendum, is stuck at 35% of respondents, the same level of support it enjoyed before the no-confidence vote.

The survey shows that the PN still enjoys a relative majority among respondents with a post-secondary education. 

Among this category the party enjoys a comfortable six-point lead over Labour.  But the party is trounced among respondents with a secondary education where Labour enjoys a staggering 17-point lead.

The PN fares slightly better among respondents who have only completed a primary education.  Among this category, Labour's lead is reduced to eight points.

Alternattiva Demokratika's enjoys the same level of support it had in the 2008 election and roughly the same support it enjoyed in surveys held over the past year.

AD is strongest among respondents with a post-secondary education (5%) but lacks support among respondents with a lower level of education. 

The state of the leaders

Between June 2011 and January this year, Lawrence Gonzi had seen his trust rating improve by a staggering 11 points from just 24% to 35%. But in the past two weeks, the PN's leader's support has fallen to 28%.

But Gonzi still remains six points more popular than his own party. This suggests that more people identify in the Prime Minister than in the party he represents.

On the other hand, for the first time since June 2011, Muscat has surpassed the 40% mark. 

But although Gonzi's trust rating has fallen by a substantial seven points, Muscat has only seen his trust rating increase to 2%. In fact, Gonzi's drop in support has resulted in an increase in undecided respondents. This suggests that Muscat has failed to make any substantial gains after last week's vote, which effectively failed to bring the government down.

Like Gonzi, Muscat is six points more popular than the party he represents.

Despite losing ground, Gonzi remains the most trusted leader among respondents with a post- secondary education. Among this category, Gonzi enjoys a trust gap of 13 points over Muscat. While only 27% of post-secondary respondents trust Muscat, over 40% trust Gonzi.

On the other hand, Muscat's popularity peaks among respondents with a post secondary education,  where he is deemed more trustworthy than Gonzi by 43% of respondents. Among this category, Muscat enjoys a 16-point lead over Gonzi. While Gonzi remains a pull factor for many potential PN voters, he is still unable to dent Muscat's popularity.

Majority want early election

The survey reveals that a relative majority of respondents  (46%)  support the opposition's call for an immediate general election. Only 32% oppose holding an early election, but 22% are not sure.

The survey also shows that the respondents with a university or post-secondary education are the least keen on an early return to the polls. While 49% of respondents with a post-secondary education are opposed to an early election, only 34% of these voters want an immediate election. The situation is completely reversed among respondents with a lower education.  Not surprisingly, while Nationalist voters are completely against the prospect of an early election, Labour voters are overwhelmingly in favour of an early election.

While only 3% of current PN voters want an election now, the same percentage of PL voters are opposed to an early election.

Non-committed voters (those still undecided, or who do not intend to vote) are also, for the most part, undecided on whether the country  should go to the polls or not.

Methodology

The survey was held between Monday 30 and Thursday 2 February. A total of 1,247 respondents were randomly chosen from telephone directories. The survey was stopped when a 700 quota of completed questionnaires was reached. The results of the survey were weighed to reflect the age balance of the population as established in the 2010 demographic review issued by the National Office of Statistics. The survey has a margin of error of /-3.7%.

james
James Debono is MaltaToday's chief reporter on environment, planning and land use issues, ...
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Louiselle Zammit
ehm.... so only 29.9 per cent of those polled want an early election. statistically speaking obviously !
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Paul Dalli
Sur edituri tal-MALTATODAY: m'ghandkomx ideja kif qed tkomplu ggennu lil gonzipn b'dawn ir-rizultati. Dan ifisser li l-orgja ta' favuri, pjaciri, permessi, promozzjonijiet, weghdiet u kull haga li tista' tfisser vot favur gonzipn se tkompli tikkarga aktar u aktar minghajr ebda limitu ghax fil-fatt hemm rapporti li fic-civil, fil-korporazzjonijiet u f'entitajiet pubblici din id-dvernja ga bdiet !!! Se tqabbduhom fernezija u wistinu gatt u l-klikka ta' erba' snin ilu se jkollhom ixammru l-kmiem u jaraw kif se (jippruvaw) jergghu jghammxu u jidhku bil-poplu Malti kif imdorrijin jaghmlu. Izda hemm differenza wahda - din id-darba se jsibu poplu aktar mugugh, aktar imxabba', aktar imsawwat, aktar imdejjaq, aktar imkisser, aktar imfarrak - izda li jaf juza' mohhu aktar bil-ghaqal u ma jithalliex li jigi imqarraq b'xi skemi godda mhabbra minn xi ministru jew mill-ftuh ta' xi parlament li jiehu l-vaganzi f'jannar ezatt kif jidhol mill-vaganzi tal-Milied ........