Surveys call election but not scale of Labour victory

An extrapolation of MaltaToday’s latest survey after removing undecided voters and non-voters gave Labour 52.7%, the PN 46.3% and other parties at 1%

james
James Debono
4 June 2017, 12:48pm
Prime Minister and Labour leader Joseph Muscat addressing mass meeting (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
Prime Minister and Labour leader Joseph Muscat addressing mass meeting (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday)
For the third consecutive time since 2008, MaltaToday’s surveys called the general election result but fell short in predicting the scale of Labour’s advantage.

An extrapolation of MaltaToday’s latest survey after removing undecided voters and non-voters gave Labour 52.7%, the PN 46.3% and other parties at 1%.

Previous surveys had put Labour consistently at 52%, and Labour surpassed the 52% mark in the last two surveys.

On the basis of early indications of a 55% Labour victory, MaltaToday’s surveys underscored Labour’s result by 2 points.

But the survey also over-estimated the PN’s result by 2 points. This is why MaltaToday’s 6.4 point gap differed from the 11-point gap in the result.

This may suggest that patterns among undecided and non-respondents matched those of decided voters.

The survey also suggests that there was no substantial shift from the PL cohort of 2013 voters to the PN.

The latest survey shows 6.5% of Labour voters (up from 6.3% last week) in 2013 shifting from the PL to the PN and 4% (up from 3.3% last week) of PN voters in 2013 shifting from the PL to the PN. This pattern was matched in other surveys conducted by other news organisations.

This could either be an indication that the survey could have underestimated the percentage of PN voters who shifted to the PL.

It could also be an indication that this category was under represented in MaltaToday’s surveys. 

The surveys also seem to have correctly assessed votes for third parties at around 1% and past trends showing the most trusted leader winning the election. 

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