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Labour still enjoys eight-point lead [FULL SURVEY]

The Labour party still enjoys a strong 8-point lead over the PN following last Monday’s vote which saw the government losing its majority in the House, and the Prime Minister asking the President to dissolve parliament and call an election scheduled for 9 March.

james
James Debono
17 December 2012, 12:00am
Labour's lead was slightly narrowed down since the fall of Lawrence Gonzi's government.
Labour's lead was slightly narrowed down since the fall of Lawrence Gonzi's government.


MaltaToday's second survey this month shows Labour's 12-point lead registered in October has been narrowed by four points.

But the survey also shows Muscat widening his trust lead over Gonzi by two points over last week.

The swing from the PN to the PL has also increased slightly from 7 to 8 points over the past week but remains two points lower than in October.

This results from a survey conducted among 450 respondents contacted between Monday and Friday.

For the second consecutive week both leaders have seen a decrease in their trust ratings. This comes in the wake of a concerted attempt on Lawrence Gonzi's part to undermine Joseph Muscat's credibility by launching a scathing political attack on him during last Monday's budget speech.

Still this attempt to reduce the trust gap seems to have backfired as over the past week, with Muscat losing only a point while Gonzi has lost 3.5 points.  

The level of distrust in both leaders is highest in the 18-34 age cohort where 32% trust neither Gonzi nor Muscat.

The MaltaToday survey for the second week of December has shown a 10-point increase in voters who would not reveal their voting intentions.

At 40% the percentage of respondents who did not divulge their voting intentions is the highest recorded during the past year.

The increase in undecided respondents was accompanied by a slight drop in support for all three parties. While Labour has lost 3 points, the PN has lost 2 points and AD half a point.

In this survey, Labour registers its lowest percentage during the past 12 months while the PN is back to levels last registered in August.

This suggests that the calling of an election before a pre-announced Christmas truce has created greater uncertainty among voters.  

This uncertainty is highest among younger voters. In fact 48% of those aged between 18 and 34 years of age were either undecided or refused to reveal their voting intention. Yet despite the heightened uncertainty, the number of those intending not to vote has dropped from 10% to 5%.

Moreover while the PL has lost one point more than the PN, Gonzi has lost 2 points more than Joseph Muscat in the trust barometer.  Yet despite

Parties level on 55 year-olds

Compared to last week Labour has recovered some lost ground in the middle-aged group (35 to 54 year-olds) while the PN has made significant inroads among those over 55 years of age where it trails Labour by less than a point.

While Labour registers a three-point increase among 35 to 54 year olds, it registers a 7-point drop in both the 18 to 34 age bracket and the over 55 year-old bracket. The PN also suffers a 7-point decrease among the youngest age group, loses 2 points in the middle-aged group and wins 2 points among the oldest bracket.

Although the PL has recovered some lost ground in the middle-aged bracket the PN has cut Labour's lead from 17 points in October to 11 points. 

But while last week Gonzi trailed Muscat by just 2 points among 35 to 54 year olds, the gap is now back to 12 points. On the other hand among over 55 year olds Gonzi is now at par with Muscat.

In this age group while Gonzi has gained 5 points Muscat has lost 7 points over the past week. 

Despite an increase in undecided voters among younger respondents the PL still leads the PN by 12 points among those aged between 18 and 34. This is a clear indication that despite its focus on the social media, the PN still faces a problem in communicating its message to younger voters.

AD manages to garner its highest score in this age group where it garners 4%.

PN still losing one tenth of its voters

Although the PN has closed the gap by another point, it is still losing 9.6% of its voters in the 2008 election to Labour. The percentage of PN voters shifting to Labour has remained the same as that registered in last week's survey.

This means that since October the number of PN voters migrating to Labour has been cut by nearly two points.

But while last week the PN has also managed to reduce the swing by attracting 2.6% of Labour voters in 2008, in this week's survey the PN only attracts 1.5% of former Labour voters. This results in an 8-point swing from Labour to PN, which is nearly one point higher than last week's swing.

Both parties retain the same percentage of past voters as last week. While the Labour Party retains 85% of its 2008 voters the PN retains 66%. 

The survey still shows the PN 3 points (down from 5.6 last week) behind Labour if both parties recover their respective 2008 voters who now intend on not voting or are still undecided. 

AD only retains 65% of its past voters but compensates its losses to both major parties by attracting a small percentage of new voters.  The survey shows the PN reducing its losses to the greens, which in this survey are practically equivalent to Labour's.  

Trust in leaders dips again

For the second consecutive week both leaders have seen a decrease in their trust ratings.

This comes in the wake of a concerted attempt on Gonzi's part to undermine Muscat's credibility by launching a scathing political attack on him during last Monday's budget speech.

Still, this attempt to reduce the trust gap seems to have backfired as over the past week Muscat lost only a point while Gonzi has lost 3.5 points.  

The level of distrust in both leaders is highest in the 18 to 34 year old age cohort where 32% trust neither Gonzi nor Muscat.

Distrust in both leaders among the youngest age group has increased by a staggering 15 points since September.

Gonzi enjoys the lowest levels of trust among the 18 to 34 year old age cohort and is most trusted by the over 55 year old cohort.   

On the other hand Muscat enjoys the same level of trust among younger and middle aged respondents but is as trusted as Gonzi among older respondents.

Significantly among the youngest age Muscat is 12 points more popular than his party.

Methodology

The survey was held between Monday 10 December and Friday 14 December. A total of 713 respondents were randomly chosen from telephone directories and contacted by telephone. Of these 450 accepted to be interviewed.  Results were weighed to reflect the age and sex balance of population. The survey has a margin of error of +/-4.6%.
james
James Debono is MaltaToday's chief reporter on environment, planning and land use issues, ...
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josette farrugia
In my opinion these surveys cannot be taken seriously. With up to 40% of respondents not replying the result could be completely different or more accentuated for MLP. Most people do not divulge their voting intentions because there is still fear of retribution on both sides - some of it is true and some is perceived. In truth the fall in the parties/leaders popularity goes completely against any logic especially as the election nears. this shows that the results are completely unreliable with one exception - the swing results