Abela’s trust rating slips but Delia fails to benefit

MaltaToday survey finds Robert Abela's trust rating has slipped to 54.5%, its lowest level since he became prime minister, but Adrian Delia's still lags behind at 17.8%

Robert Abela's trust rating has slipped to its lowest level since he became PM, but Adrian Delia's rating has failed to benefit, a MaltaToday survey found
Robert Abela's trust rating has slipped to its lowest level since he became PM, but Adrian Delia's rating has failed to benefit, a MaltaToday survey found

Robert Abela’s trust rating has slipped to its lowest level since becoming prime minister in January despite still running at 54.5%, a MaltaToday survey found. 

The Prime Minister’s rating in June was almost eight points less than the last trust rating polled in April at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. No trust barometer was held in May. 

Although the survey did not indicate the reasons for this slip, it was held after the government gave in to pressure and allowed the disembarkation of more than 400 migrants kept in detention on ships outside territorial waters. 

The dip in the Prime Minister’s fortunes, however, did not serve to boost Opposition leader Adrian Delia’s standing, who only registered a marginal increase of half a percentage point. 

Delia’s trust rating ran at 17.8%, almost 37 points behind Abela. 

The Prime Minister trumped Delia among women and men, across all age groups and all regions. 

Abela’s strongest trust rating was registered in the Southern Harbour area where he scored an impressive 75.4%, followed by Gozo where he registered 62.4%. In the South-Eastern region, he scored 58.9%. 

Abela’s lowest score was in the Northern Harbour with 40.5%, although this was also the region with the highest number of people (38.3%), who trusted none of the two leaders. 

On a regional basis, Delia’s highest trust rating was in the Northern region with 22.3%, followed by the Northern Harbour with 21.3%. 

His lowest result was in the Southern Harbour with 12.7%, followed by Gozo where he scored 13%. 

The Prime Minister enjoyed the highest level of trust among those aged between 51 and 65 (57.5%) and his lowest among those aged between 18 and 35 (51.2%). 

Delia’s strongest appeal was among those aged 65 and over, where he registered 26.8%. His lowest result was achieved among those aged between 18 and 35 (11.8%). 

The young were also the most sceptical of both leaders with 36.5% of those aged between 18 and 35 trusting no one. 

The survey showed that 92.9% of those who voted for the PL in the last general election trust Abela, while 2.4% trust Delia. 

The situation remained precarious for the Opposition leader among the PN’s 2017 voters. Delia managed to earn the trust of 40.9% of those who voted PN but almost half (49.1%) trusted no one and 10.1% trusted his rival Abela. 

The number of PN voters who trusted Abela has slumped from 25.9% in April but this has not benefitted Delia, who retained the same trust rating as that achieved a couple of months ago among his party’s supporters. 

PL support declines but midterm blues is no hope for PN 

Support for the Labour Party has declined to its lowest level since January, with the governing party registering 45.9% in a MaltaToday survey. 

The result represented a decline of six points since the survey held last month, when the PL scored its highest result in almost two years. 

But the PL’s decline was not reflected in advancement for the Nationalist Party, which remained in the same state it was last month. 

At 21.7%, support for the PN dropped marginally by less than half a percentage point. 

There was an increase of eight points to 18.2% in those who said they will not vote. 

The gap between the two major parties stood at 24 points, while Alternattiva Demokratika and the Democratic Party registered a combined 1.6%. 

The survey was held between 12 June and 18 June, a period after the government retracted its position to hold migrants in detention out at sea and when it announced an economic stimulus package for the summer months. 

The PL was ahead of the PN among women and men, across all ages and all regions. 

In line with the trust rating of its leader, the PL scored its highest result in the Southern Harbour region with 66.1%, followed by Gozo with 56.3% and the South-Eastern region with 52.3%. 

Its lowest support was in the Northern region with 34.5%, albeit still almost 14 points ahead of the PN. 

The PN’s strongest showing was in the Northern Harbour region where it registered 32%, closing the gap with the PL to a mere four points. 

The PL retained the support of 85.7% of those who voted for it in the 2017 general election, as opposed to the PN, which retained 50% of its voters. 

There were 2.4% of PL voters, who said they will now vote PN, and 3.2% of PN voters who will switch to Labour if an election is held tomorrow. 

A quarter of PN voters in the last election said they will not vote, as opposed to 5.3% of PL voters.  

The results suggest that in its third year of government, despite registering a level of disgruntlement, the PL has retained a strong support base. Any midterm blues is not being reflected in a transfer of votes to the PN, which continues to be hampered by a lack of trust in its leader by its own support base. 

Methodology 

The survey was carried out between Friday 12 June 2020 and Thursday 18 June 2020. 653 respondents opted to complete the survey. Stratified random sampling based on region, age and gender was used to replicate the Maltese demographic. The estimated margin of error is 5% for a confidence interval of 95% for the overall results. Demographic and sub-group breakdowns have larger margins of error. 

 

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