MaltaToday survey | PN’s lead in blue strongholds registers smaller majority

Swing of PN voters to Labour is half the national swing, but large factor of undecided voters is still in play.

james
James Debono
21 January 2013, 12:00am
Affluent and Nationalist... Sliema, a blue stronghold.
Affluent and Nationalist... Sliema, a blue stronghold.


METHODOLOGY | A qualified swing | Gains, losses in towns | INFOGRAPHIC | FULL DATA

The swing of Nationalist voters to the Labour party in the Nationalist strongholds of the ninth and tenth districts has shown the PN losing voters, although not at the same level of the national swing that has gone to Labour.

A survey of the blue districts in the east of Malta, where the PN had won more than 60% of votes back in 2008, shows the net swing amounting to less than five points - at half of the national swing of 9.8% in Labour's favour.

The survey indicates that the swing towards Labour is taking place more strongly in other Labour-leaning districts.

But a huge number of voters who don't know yet who they will vote for, as well as those who have not replied, still gives no clues as to whether Labour's constant appeal to the "middle class" has earned it any major inroads in these affluent, Nationalist districts.

The indication is that the PN is facing trouble among voters in less affluent localities. But although it is losing support in the ninth and tenth district heartlands, this is mainly in part to an increase in the number of undecided former PN voters.

In fact Labour only manages to increase its share by 3 points in the ninth district, and by less than a point in the tenth district.

The level of indecision among PN voters is even higher in the ninth district where 22% of PN voters are either undecided or have refused to reveal their voting intentions. This is four points higher than at national level.

On the other hand indecision in the tenth district is similar to that of the ninth district.

The Greens also perform better in these two districts than they do nationally, scoring close to 2% in both districts and registering a 4% score in Sliema.

9th/10th district voters | Infographics


A more qualified swing

While the PN loses 6.5% of its 2008 voters to Labour inside the ninth district, it loses 5.5% in the tenth. Last week's MaltaToday survey showed the PN losing 11.3% of its 2008 voters on a national level.

Labour's minimal losses on both districts correspond to the national figure.

Furthermore, in both districts the PN compensates its losses to Labour by winning a larger share of new voters. Among new voters in both districts, support to the PN is equivalent to 33%, Labour gets 20% and AD 7%.

Labour's vote in the tenth district is less compact than the party's national vote. In fact while on a national level only 7% of former Labour voters are still undecided, in the tenth district 15% of Labour voters in 2008 election are still undecided.

AD benefits from a small 1% shift from the PN in the tenth district and a 2% from both major parties in the ninth district. In the tenth district AD retains most of its 2008 voters while attracting new voters. In the ninth district AD gains result from a shift from the other two parties.

PL scores gains in Swieqi and Gzira

Labour has made small gains in most localities across both districts.

In the ninth, Labour support in San Gwann and Msida remains the same as it was before.

But it scores major gains in Swieqi where Labour gains gains 7 points over 2008. The net swing in this locality in the PL's favour amounts to 7 points, which is still lower than the national swing of 10 points, but higher than the district swing of 4.6 points.

In the tenth district Labour sees a six-point drop in St Julian's, a locality where both major parties saw a drop in support over 2008.

On the other hand, in Sliema Labour gains 2.4 points and benefits from a net swing of 3.5 points, which is lower than that registered in the whole district.

It is in Gzira that Labour makes the greatest inroads: gaining 10 points over 2008, while the PN registers its largest losses, with 14 points down from 2008.

The only locality where the PN registers a slight gain is Msida.

The Greens register their highest level of support in Sliema (4%) and Swieqi (3.4%) and their lowest support in Gzira and San Gwann where the party attracts only 1% of voters.

The highest number of respondents intending not to vote is found in Swieqi and St Julian's.



Methodology

The survey was held between Monday 14 and Thursday 17 January. A total of 650 respondents accepted to be interviewed in the survey. 320 interviews were conducted in the ninth districts while 330 interviews were conducted in the tenth district.
james
James Debono is MaltaToday's chief reporter on environment, planning and land use issues, ...