Muscat trusted more by under-35s, graduates prefer Busuttil

Prime Minister loses ground with university-educated voters but still more trusted by younger respondents

james
James Debono
24 June 2015, 12:00pm
Muscat on campus: university graduates trust him less than Simon Busuttil
Muscat on campus: university graduates trust him less than Simon Busuttil
MaltaToday Trust Barometer 19 June | Create infographics
MaltaToday’s latest survey shows that among 18 to 34-year olds, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat enjoys a 14-point lead in the trust barometer over Opposition leader Simon Busuttil. The gap is reduced to 13 points among 35 to 54-year olds and to 11 points among over 55-year olds.

But the survey also shows that the 18 to 34-year old category has the highest percentage of respondents who trust neither of the two leaders.

No substantial changes have occurred since March but the survey suggests that Muscat is losing more support among over 55-year olds than in the other age groups. Despite trailing Muscat, Busuttil has gained most among 34 to 55-year olds.

With regards to voting intentions, it is among over 55-year olds that the PN is closest to Labour. While among under 35-year olds the PL is leading by 8 points, among over 35year olds the PL is leading by just 4 points. 

The last time MaltaToday assessed voters’ political views according to level of education was in January. A comparison with six months ago shows Muscat losing eight points and Busuttil gaining seven points among graduates. Busuttil’s gains in this category suggest that the PN is making inroads in this category in which it already leads the PL by 21 points.

But significantly, university-educated respondents are the only category where the PN leads over the PL, and Busuttil is more trusted than Muscat.

The same survey shows Busuttil losing sevenm points among respondents with a post-secondary level of education, a category that includes respondents who attend junior college, MCAST and other post secondary institutions other than university. The survey shows Muscat retaining the same level of support among this category while respondents who trust neither leader have increased by five points. Significantly, 21% of post secondary educated respondents will not vote if a general election is held now.

Muscat also registers losses among respondents with a secondary and primary level of education but Busuttil only makes limited inroads in these categories.

Not surprisingly, university-educated respondents are the most likely to give a negative rating to government on transparency and environmental issues. Only 6% of graduates judge government positively on transparency while 10% judge the government positively on transparency.  

On the other hand, the secondary educated (54%) are the most likely to give the government a positive rating on the economy.

Nearly half of respondents with a university level of education give a negative rating to government on transparency issues compared to only 23% of post secondary educated respondents and 25% of secondary educated respondents.

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