MaltaToday Survey | Concern on traffic reaches all-time high

Survey shows increase in concern on environment and high-rise developments, corruption remains second greatest concern

james
James Debono
10 October 2016, 7:30am
Concern on traffic has reached an all-time high, with 37% of respondents mentioning it as their main national concern.
Concern on traffic has reached an all-time high, with 37% of respondents mentioning it as their main national concern.
A MaltaToday survey which coincided with the re-opening of schools shows that concern on traffic has reached an all-time high, being mentioned by 37% of respondents. This represents a 17 point increase over the figures for last May.

Concern on corruption remains the second most mentioned subject at the same levels as in May. At 18% it is only second to traffic in the list of national concerns. But the survey also shows a six-point drop in concern on the Panama Papers affair, which was mentioned by 4% of respondents. 

Respondents were asked to name the two greatest problems facing the country, without being prompted with a list of answers.

The number of respondents concerned about traffic represents a 17 point increase over the figures for last May
The number of respondents concerned about traffic represents a 17 point increase over the figures for last May
The survey shows concern on the environment rising by four points since May. 4.4% of respondents mentioned high-rises as one of their two main concerns. This is the first time that concern on high-rises featured among the top concerns of the population. This comes in the wake of the approval of a 38 storey tower in Sliema, the approval of four towers in Mriehel and the publication of a master plan which earmarks Paceville for high-rise developments on nine different sites. 

Traffic tops the concern of all categories of respondents, except for PN voters, among whom corruption remains the top concern. But concern on corruption remains high also among PL voters, 9% of whom consider corruption as one of  the main problems facing the country. Corruption is also a main concern of 23% of switchers and 20% of non-voters.

Once again the survey indicates that bread and butter issues have been eclipsed by the concerns related to governance, the environment, immigration and traffic. The most pressing bread and butter issues are low income  (9.3%) and the cost of living (8%). Only 1.3% expressed a concern on the economy while 2.4% expressed a concern about jobs.

Once again the survey indicates that bread and butter issues have been eclipsed by the concerns related to governance, the environment, immigration and traffic
Once again the survey indicates that bread and butter issues have been eclipsed by the concerns related to governance, the environment, immigration and traffic
Concern on immigration remains particularly high among Labour voters (18.1%). Among this category immigration is the second most pressing concern. Only 6% of PN voters mentioned immigration as a major concern. Immigration is also a main concern among undecided voters (14%). Concern about the environment among Labour voters has also grown by three points.

The rise of traffic and corruption as main concerns

A comparison of surveys conducted in the past two years shows that traffic has consistently dominated the list of concerns, with concern about this issue rising from just 7% in March 2014 to 24% last January, and 37% now. Concern on corruption has risen from 0% to 7% after the Gaffarena scandal, rising to 14% just before Panamagate and to 18.2% now.

Concern about immigration remained one of the top two concerns in the whole period between March 2014 and January 2016, only to drop to fourth place in May and September. Concern on low income has surpassed concern about jobs. While concern on jobs dropped from 21% in March 2014 to 2.4% now, concern on low income doubled from 5% in March 2014 to 10% now. Interestingly, concern on low incomes has also surpassed concern on inflation.

And a comparison with surveys held before the 2013 general election shows a sharp change in the concerns of the public. While concern on utility bills peaked at 50% in February 2010, only 1% express this concern now.  On the other hand concern on corruption, which never surpassed the 3% mark between 2008 and 2013, has now hit the 18% mark. Concern about the environment peaked in September 2015 at 13% but dropped to 6% last May, only to rise again to 9% now.

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