MaltaToday survey | Abela retains high trust rating as he faces first major test

Prime Minister continues to enjoy an unparalleled trust rating despite seven points loss since last month • Opposition leader gains three points but gap between two parties stands at almost 27 points

Robert Abela has climbed down from the extraordinary high trust rating recorded last month but still registers a significant 55.9% on the latest MaltaToday trust barometer.

The March MaltaToday survey shows that the Prime Minister continues to enjoy an unparalleled trust rating, albeit a loss of almost seven points since last month.

Opposition leader Adrian Delia, who faced open rebellion among his MPs in February, has gained three points and now runs at 16.5%.

The gap between the leaders stands at 39 points.

The survey was carried out between 3 March and 10 March, as the impact of the coronavirus was starting to be felt.

The result shows that Abela is, so far, managing to retain a very high trust rating despite facing his first major test as Prime Minister.

Abela trumps Delia across all age groups, regions, women and men. The Prime Minister scores above 60% among women, those aged between 18 and 35, in Gozo and the two southern regions.

Abela enjoys a trust rating of 61.9% among women, against Delia’s 14.7%. The Prime Minister’s rating drops to 50% among men but still trumps Delia, who registers 18.3%.

A breakdown by age shows that Abela is strongest among the young (18-35), where he scores 61.8%. The Nationalist Party leader, on the other hand, posts his lowest result at 6.8% in this age group.

Abela grips Gozo, enthrals Nationalists

Abela appears to have consolidated his grip on Gozo, enjoying a trust rating of 63.5% against Delia’s measly 3%.

The Prime Minister’s strongest showing is in the South-Eastern region, where he scores 86.1%. The survey does not capture any support for Delia in this region, which suggests that it be negligible and within the margin of error.

The survey confirms Abela’s appeal to Nationalist voters. He is trusted by 18.1% of those who voted for the PN in the last general election. On the flip side, only 1.5% of Labour voters trust Delia.

The Prime Minister retains the trust of 90.1% of PL voters from the last general election and has to contend with 7.5% of Labour voters who say they trust no one.

Among PN voters, Delia’s trust rating has improved and now stands at 41.1%. However, 34.9% of those who voted for the PN in the last general election trust no one, confirming again the persistent difficulty Delia has to connect with this cohort.

PN crashes to lost result since Delia became leader

Support for the Nationalist Party has dropped to its lowest level since Adrian Delia became leader, a MaltaToday survey shows.

The PN obtained 19.1% in the March survey, shaving off almost five points since the February poll.

Support for the Labour Party runs at 46%, down three points from the February survey. But despite the dip, the gap with the PN has increased and now stands at almost 27 points.

This is the second consecutive decrease in support for the PN since December and comes on the back of open rebellion against the party leader that led to a number of resignations last month.

The PN has experienced a complete crash in Gozo and the South-East, where support is negligible and well within the margin of error. The PN posts its best result among those aged 65 and over, where it scores 31%.

The PL trumps its political opponent across all age groups, all regions and among both men and women.

The PL retains the support of 83.6% of 2017 voters, while 7.4% say they will not vote. Less than half a percentage point of PL voters say they will shift their preference to the PN.

The PN retains 49.9% of its voters and has to contend with 22.9% who say they will not vote and 7.7% who will shift to Labour.