MaltaToday Survey | Grech could halve Abela’s trust lead, Labour registers three-point drop

Full data • PN leadership candidate Bernard Grech could halve Prime Minister Robert Abela’s trust lead, as Labour polls its worst ever in 2020

Bernard Grech can hope to halve the trust gap with Robert Abela if he becomes Nationalist Party leader, a MaltaToday survey shows.

The trust barometer shows that Grech would receive a score of 32.1% against Abela’s 51.7%, a gap of almost 20 points.

A similar runoff between incumbent PN leader Adrian Delia and Abela sees the former obtain a trust rating of 12% against the Prime Minister’s 56%. The gap between Delia and Abela stands at 44 points.

The survey was held among the general population between Monday 31 August and Friday 4 September.

The trust barometer results show that with Grech at the helm, the PN can start recovering some of the lost ground, although it still has a long way to go given Abela’s strong showing.

However, Grech’s result provides a more encouraging start than when Delia became leader in September 2017. In the first trust barometer against then Labour leader Joseph Muscat, which was held in October 2017, Delia had scored 22% against Muscat’s 51%, a 29-point gap.

After that, Delia’s trust rating went downhill, scoring his best performance in May 2018, when he obtained 27.2%.

It still has to be seen whether Grech’s result now is the start of an upward trajectory or the maximum threshold.

Abela vs Grech

Robert Abela trounces Bernard Grech across all age groups with the Prime Minister posting his strongest results among those aged 51 and over.

Among those aged between 18 and 35, Abela scores a trust rating of 48.4% against Grech’s 31.9%.

The survey shows that Grech manages to recover valuable territory among those aged below 50, when his results are contrasted with those of Adrian Delia.

On a regional basis, Abela emerges ahead of Grech in five of the six regions.

The PN leadership contender manages to wrestle the Northern region out of Abela’s hands, obtaining a trust rating of 40.8% against Abela’s 35.4%.

However, across the rest of Malta and Gozo, Abela comes out on top with significantly high margins in the Southern Harbour and South Eastern regions.

In Gozo, Abela’s trust rating stands at 45.1% against Grech’s 39.8%, while in the Northern Harbour region, Abela scores 47.2% against Grech’s 34.5%.

Although Grech still trails the Prime Minister in Gozo, the PN leadership hopeful’s result significantly cuts Abela’s astronomical lead over Delia in the sister island.

In the Western region, Abela registers a trust rating of 50% against Grech’s 40.3%.

The whole of the south remains a Labour Party bulwark irrespective of who the PN leader is. In his runoff against Grech, Abela achieves a trust rating of 70.1% in the south east and 60% in the Southern Harbour.

Abela vs Delia

Robert Abela runs roughshod over Adrian Delia, beating him across all age groups and in all regions with comfortable margins.

Abela obtains absolute majorities across all age groups, posting his best performance among those aged between 51 and 65 (59.1%). His ‘worst’ performance is among young voters (18-35) where the Prime Minister still manages to score a trust rating of 52.7%.

Delia scores dismally among the young (6.9%) and those aged between 36 and 50 (7.9%). His best result is among those aged 65 and over where he secures a trust rating of 25%.

On a regional basis, Abela runs riot in Gozo, obtaining a trust rating of 63.1% against Delia’s 4.4%.

Abela also manages to secure the Northern region with a trust rating of 44.3% against Delia’s 19.7%.

Labour's worst performance

The Labour Party has slumped to its worst performance since Robert Abela became prime minister in January, a MaltaToday survey shows but continues to outperform its rival.

The PL registers the support of 45.1%, almost three points less than its performance in July when the last voting intentions survey was conducted.

The result, however, still leaves the PL well ahead of the Nationalist Party that enjoys the support of 23.5%, an upward movement of almost three points.

Transferring the survey result onto the actual performance of the political parties in the last general election (assuming that those who are unsure will vote according to their previous election choice), shows that the PL enjoys a lead of almost 57,000 votes. In the 2017 election the PL surpassed the PN by 35,280 votes.

The survey registers a negligible 0.4% result for the Democratic Party and no preference for Alternattiva Demokratika. Both parties have merged.

Despite shedding support, the PL trumps the PN across all age groups and in all regions.

The 65 and over age group gives both parties their best result with Labour obtaining 56.5% and the PN 34.1%

Among those aged between 18 and 35, the PL scores 39.5% and the PN 11.8%.

On a regional basis, the PL’s results in its traditional bulwarks – the South East and the Southern Harbour – are not as stellar as Abela’s trust rating, which could indicate that there is a high level of discontent with government in these areas.

In the South-Eastern region, the PL scores 59.2%, against the PN’s 19%, and in the Southern Harbour region it scores 50.8%, against the PN’s 11.8%.

In Gozo, the PL scores 41.4%, while the PN secures the support of 22.9%.

The closest result is in the Northern region, where the PL beats the PN by almost four points.

Voter retention for the PL remains high at 82% of those who voted for it in the last election, saying they will cast their vote again for the party if an election were held tomorrow. It however loses 1.6% of its voters to the PN.

The PN retains 58.5% of its 2017 vote but loses 6.6% to Labour.

Methodology

Survey carried out between Mon 31 August 2020 and Fri 4 September 2020. 655 respondents opted to complete the survey. Stratified random sampling based on region, age and gender used to replicate the Maltese demographic. Estimated margin of error is 5% for a confidence interval of 95% for the overall results. Demographic and sub-group breakdowns have considerably larger margins of error.

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