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MaltaToday Survey | Trust gap puts Muscat 29 points ahead, Labour with 25-point lead

50.9% of people trust Muscat, whereas only 22.1% of respondents trust Delia, a MaltaToday survey has found
 

kurt_sansone
Kurt Sansone
8 October 2017, 7:00am
Newly elected Adrian Delia’s overall trust rat- ing at 22% puts him at a big disad- vantage with his political rival
Newly elected Adrian Delia’s overall trust rat- ing at 22% puts him at a big disad- vantage with his political rival
Joseph Muscat enjoys a trust rating of 51% after the first 100 days, a MaltaToday survey has found. It puts him well ahead of Opposition leader Adrian Delia.

The Prime Minister’s trust rating is eight points higher than the rating registered in a MaltaToday survey during the same period in the first legislature.

Muscat enjoys a 29-point lead over the Nationalist Party leader in the first head-to-head trust barometer since Delia took over. In 2013, Muscat enjoyed a 17-point advantage on then PN leader Simon Busuttil after the first 100 days.

However, 27% of respondents said they trust none of the two leaders or are unsure of their choice, reflecting what is possibly political fatigue in the aftermath of an intense general election period.

As would be expected, the Prime Minister scores strongly among Labour Party voters, with 92 per cent saying they trust him. Just four per cent of PL voters in the last election say they trust Delia,which is equivalent to the percentage of PN voters who express a similar sentiment towards Muscat.
The survey shows Muscat enjoying a stable trust rating among 2008, 2013 and 2017 PL voters –consistently scoring more than 91%.

However, Delia loses support among traditional PN voters. While the PN leader has a trust rating of 54% among those who voted PN this year, it drops to 45% among those who said they voted for the party in 2008. Interestingly, Muscat’s trust rating among 2008 PN voters is a significant 14%.

While Delia’s overall trust rating at 22% puts him at a big disadvantage with his political rival, his bigger problem is with PN voters, where 41% trust none of the two leaders or are uncertain of their choice.

This contrasts sharply with just five per cent of PL voters who trust no one or are unsure.

The figures paint a rosier picture for Muscat at the start of his second term than what the situation was four years ago at the same juncture. However, the survey also suggests that instability within the PN is not only harming the party’s chances but denting its new leader’s trust among his own voters.

 

Labour 25 points ahead as PN continues bleeding votes

The Labour Party leads the Nationalist Party by 25 points in a survey on voting intentions carried out by MaltaToday, which shows the Opposition still hemorrhaging votes.

The overall survey result puts the PL at 46%, four months after a landslide victory in the general election, against the PN’s 22%.

But the survey also suggests post-election fatigue setting in, if not disenchantment, with 17% of respondents saying they would not vote if an election were held now. Another 13% say they are uncertain who to vote for.

However, the survey also shows that the major share of disenchantment with politics comes from the PN voters in the last election, which could be indicative of low morale.

More than a third of those who voted PN in the last election say they would not vote, or did not know who to vote for were an election to be held now. These are split equally between non-voters and the undecided.

The corresponding figure for the government side sees 12% of PL voters in the last election now adopting a lukewarm approach. However, the undecided, at 8% are double those who would not vote.

A deeper analysis of the figures shows that six per cent of PN voters in the last election would now vote PL, while three per cent of PL voters would switch to the blue side.

This means that the PN is still losing votes to its political rival in the aftermath of the bruising electoral result.

While 57% of PN voters in the last election will sustain their preference and vote blue again, the PL has a higher retention rate, with 84% saying they would vote red once more.

The survey registers negligible support for the Democratic Party and Alternattiva Demokratika. They jointly score less than half a percentage point, despite the PD’s parliamentary presence and vocal outgoing leader Marlene Farrugia.

If non-voters are removed from the equation and the undecided are split equally between the two major parties, the PL’s share of the vote would soar to 65%, as opposed to the PN’s 35%, indicating a stronger post-election performance for Muscat’s party.

 

Traffic and parking topmost concerns

Traffic remains an overriding concern for all voters as it cuts across the political divide, according to the MaltaToday survey for October.

It emerges as the top problem, with 35% of respondents indicating it as one of their top two concerns.

However, the issue already featured as a top concern in the September MaltaToday survey, with 34% of respondents identifying traffic as such.

A deeper analysis shows that traffic is the leading matter of un- ease for both PN and Labour Party voters in the last election. While traffic is mentioned by 41% of PN voters, a third of PL voters do so.

In the latest survey, parking and public transport come in second and seventh, scoring 12% and five per cent respectively. Parking had featured in fourth place last month.

The survey shows that immigration is the third topmost unease at 10%, dropping one rung from the second place registered last month when the issue was mentioned by 21% of respondents.

However, crime, which placed third in the September survey barely, features this time around, registering less than a percentage point.

In the latest survey, corruption comes in fourth with seven per cent, followed by the environment at six per cent.

Rental prices came in 10th as a matter of concern with three per cent of respondents indicating it as a problem. This is a slight increase on the September survey, where rents featured outside the top 10 spots.

However, voters appear to be taking the cue from the positions adopted by the party they support. The second major concern for those who say they voted PN in the last election is corruption, with 17% indicating it as one of their top two concerns. Among 2017 PL voters, corruption barely features as a concern, registering less than half a percentage point.
The result reflects the polarised positions adopted by the major parties in the last election on the issue.

Interestingly, five per cent of respondents indicated “the Opposition” as a top concern, fuelled mostly by PL voters, eight per cent of whom believe the political rival is a problem. This is also a reflection of the PL’s discourse in the wake of the PN’s tumultuous leadership election.

For PL voters, the second topmost unease is immigration at 16%, followed by parking at 13%.

On the PN side, the third highest concern after traffic and corruption is parking, at eight per cent.

Interestingly, the cost of living, which gets an overall result of five per cent, is a higher matter of disquiet for PN voters than it is for PL supporters.

While six per cent of PN voters indicate the cost of living as a concern – possibly reflecting the party’s most recent emphasis that people are feeling the pinch of higher prices in the wake of a surplus that is not benefitting everyone – it only features as an issue with four per cent of PL voters.

MaltaToday survey methodology

The survey was carried out by telephone and 506 respondents took part. Participants were selected randomly and phone calls were made between October 2
 and 5. The sample was weighted according to the electoral result of June 2017, gender, age and region (as determined by the National Statistics Office). The estimated margin of error is plus or minus 4.9%.

kurt_sansone
Kurt Sansone is Online Editor of www.maltatoday.com.mt. He was formerly deputy editor of ...