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Surveys agree on PL vote, disagree on PN’s

Different percentages of undecided and non-voters account for differences in the PN’s vote between surveys

james
James Debono
24 May 2017, 7:30am
Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil (L) and Labour Party leader Joseph Muscat
Nationalist Party leader Simon Busuttil (L) and Labour Party leader Joseph Muscat
Different percentages of undecided and non-voters account for differences in the PN’s vote between surveys. MaltaToday and the Malta Independent surveys confirm swing to PN while Torca survey registers high abstention rate in both camps.

Three surveys conducted over the past weekend show the PL leading by between four and 10 points.  

While the three surveys concur on Labour’s result (40%-41%), the Torca and MaltaToday surveys differ on percentage of non-voters, especially among PN voters in 2013 while the Malta Independent survey includes a higher percentage of don’t knows than the other two. 

While MaltaToday’s survey shows less than 1% of 2013 PN voters not voting, the Torca survey puts the figure at a staggering 7.4% of 2013 PN voters.

The gap between the two parties is narrowest in the MaltaToday survey where Labour is leading by four points, and highest in the Torca and Malta Independent surveys, where Labour leads by 10 points. 

But the Malta Independent survey includes a higher percentage of undecided (five points more than MaltaToday’s).  

In its analysis of the survey the Malta Independent reveals that Labour’s lead would fall to 6.2 points if undecided voters retain their 2013 voting preference on June 3. This brings it closer to MaltaToday’s result. 

Defying all trends in other surveys the Torca survey shows that the PN is losing more votes to the PL than vice-versa. Moreover according to the Torca survey only 1.6% of Labour voters in 2013 would vote PN now – compared to 5.7% in the MaltaToday surveys and 7.7% in the Malta Independent survey. 

The Torca survey also includes a higher percentage of non-voters compared to the MaltaToday survey. While in the MaltaToday survey only 0.6% of PN voters and 1.5% of PL voters will not vote, the Torca survey shows a staggering 7% of PN voters and 8% of PL voters not voting.

This suggests that instead of swinging to PN, the Torca survey shows Labour voters opting not to vote.  

The Torca survey’s high rate of non-voters among PN voters in 2013 (7%) has not been registered in MaltaToday’s surveys conducted immediately before and during the electoral campaign.  

These two factors explain the lower percentage of voters opting for the PN and the larger gap between the two parties in the Torca survey.

Both the Malta Independent and MaltaToday surveys show the PN gaining more votes than the PL. Based on shifts between parties and losses to abstention the MaltaToday survey shows the PN gaining 6,239 votes over 2013.  Based solely on shifts between parties the Malta Independent survey shows the PN gaining 5,485 votes over 2013. On the other hand based on shifts between parties and losses to abstention the Torca survey shows the PN losing 11,621 votes and the PL 11,580 votes.

In the meantime a survey published by the Sunday Times confirmed findings in MaltaToday and the Malta Independent surveys, showing a relative majority of respondents who see corruption as being the most important issue that will determine how they will vote in the general election of June 3.

Respondents in the Sunday Times survey were also asked whether they were satisfied with the way the Prime Minister had handled the corruption allegations.

46% claimed they were not so satisfied or not satisfied at all, while 41% claimed that they were either very satisfied or fairly satisfied. 13% did not express an opinion. 79% of respondents claimed to be either very satisfied or fairly satisfied with the economic situation of the country, while 21% claimed to be not so satisfied or not satisfied at all.

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