[WATCH] From the PN’s retention rate to Labour’s upward tick, key survey numbers explained

We’ve taken a look at some of the key numbers from MaltaToday’s November survey and analysed what they mean for the two major political parties

The Labour Party continues to lead the Nationalist Party by a marginally higher vote difference than it obtained in the 2017 general election
The Labour Party continues to lead the Nationalist Party by a marginally higher vote difference than it obtained in the 2017 general election


79.7%: This is Bernard Grech’s trust rating among voters who supported the PN in the last general election.

81.4%: The PN’s retention rate from the last general election in 2017.

Why are these numbers important?

These two figures are very important for the PN because they suggest that the party has recovered a lot of the vote it obtained in the 2017 general election. This is the second survey in a row that the PN’s retention rate, and trust in its leader, among 2017 voters, has hit these high figures.

This is crucial because under Adrian Delia’s leadership, the PN had been struggling to convince many of those who voted for it in 2017 to return to the fold.

Are these numbers enough?

The numbers are encouraging for the PN but definitely not enough. To win an election, a party has to, not only retain its vote but add new voters and this does not seem to be happening yet. The PN is still losing more votes to Labour than it is gaining and the road remains an arduous one.


+4: This represents the increase in support for the Labour Party in the November survey when compared to the previous month.

+2: This represents the increase in Robert Abela’s trust rating over his performance in October.

Why are these numbers important?

The increases are noteworthy because they reverse a gradual downward trend that both the PL and Abela were experiencing since July.

Are they enough?

The reversal of a downward trend is always good news for a political party. But caution must be exercised because the November survey came after a good budget and Abela’s budget reaction speech, which was miles ahead of Grech’s robotic reaction. It has to be seen whether the PL and Abela will retain their standing in the months ahead.


38,000: This is the vote difference between the two major parties as extrapolated from the survey data. This is achieved by analysing how people told us they voted in the last election and transferring the numbers onto the actual election result. There are some key assumptions in this calculation – those who tell us they are unsure who to vote for if an election is held tomorrow are assumed to be voting according to their 2017 election choice, and no allocation is made for new voters since 2017. The PL is ahead by 38,000 votes.

Why is this important?

The Labour Party’s 38,000 vote lead over the Nationalist Party is marginally better than its lead in the 2017 general election when the difference stood at just over 35,000 votes.

This is important for the PL because it shows that the situation today is the same as it was three years ago.

Is it enough?

For the PL, this is good news. It is an advantage any party would want to be in at the half-way mark of a legislature. For the PN, it signals a long road ahead. But with less than two years to go until the next general election, the PL would not want to rest on its laurels and the PN has to find the energy to go beyond consolidation if it wants to have a fighting chance.

Get the full survey results here.