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MaltaToday Survey | 55% cannot choose between any of the PN contenders

More than a third of PN voters and 55% of those interviewed cannot choose between the candidates on offer for the party leadership

james
James Debono
28 August 2017, 7:30am
The survey puts Nationalist MP Chris Said slightly ahead
The survey puts Nationalist MP Chris Said slightly ahead
More than a third of PN voters and 55% of those interviewed cannot choose between the candidates on offer for the party leadership.

Chris Said enjoys a small five-point lead among PN voters in the last general election but is as popular as his rival Adrian Delia among the general population. Said in fact emerges stronger among PN voters, older voters and women, while Delia is stronger among Labour voters, males and under-55 year olds.

A survey in which 400 people were interviewed between Monday and Thursday before the first televised debate between the four candidates vying for the PN leadership, has put Nationalist MP Chris Said slightly ahead.

The survey shows signs of political fatigue among PN voters, 10% of whom replied that they had no preference for any of the candidates on offer and 26% of whom replied ‘don’t know’.

This indicates that 36% of PN voters in the last election could not express a preference between the candidates standing for the post. Among the general population the percentage of those who could not pick a candidate rises to 55%.

Younger people are the least interested in the PN’s leadership race. Among 18- to 34-year olds interviewed in the survey, a staggering 21% replied that they preferred none of the candidates; while 46% replied ‘don’t know’.

Only a third of younger voters expressed a preference between the four candidates standing for the contest.

The survey also shows former Birkirkara FC president Adrian Delia being more popular with men and younger respondents, while Said is more popular with women and over-55 year olds. While Delia enjoys a 3.5 point advantage among men, Said enjoys a 3.4 point advantage among women.

Delia is strongest in the 35- to 54-year old category, where he enjoys an 11-point advantage over Said. On the other hand among over-55 year olds Said enjoys a 14-point advantage.

Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of Labour voters in the last general election either do not like any of the candidates on offer (32%) or replied ‘don’t know’ (38%). Both Delia and Frank Portelli are more popular than Chris Said with Labour respondents.

Portelli, the most right-wing candidate on issues such as immigration and civil liberties, is more popular among PL voters than among PN voters.

The survey also indicates a tight race among party members who will be making a final choice between the two candidates shortlisted by party councillors next week. Although Said enjoys a six-point lead over Delia, the sample is too small in this case to be scientifically accurate.

What is sure is that Delia and Said start as the two front-runners among this category. Both Portelli and Perici Calascione seem to enjoy a higher support among PN members than among PN voters and the population at large.

Methodology

901 respondents were randomly chosen from telephone directories. 404 accepted to be interviewed. The survey was time barred and was held between Monday and Thursday. The survey has a margin of error of +/-4.9 percentage points. The results of the survey were weighed to reflect the age and gender balance of the population based on the 2011 census of the population.

james
James Debono is MaltaToday's chief reporter on environment, planning and land use issues, ...