MaltaToday Survey | Corruption is top concern after COVID-19

Apart from COVID-19, which is an overriding worry, corruption and the economy are the next two highest concerns among those aged between 18 and 35, and those aged between 36 and 50

In a year dominated by the COVID-19, the pandemic is the top concern of Maltese across all age groups, regions and irrespective of political affiliation.

A MaltaToday survey found that 46.2% indicated COVID-19 as one of their two topmost concerns, more than three times higher than last July.

This reflects the post-summer increase in new coronavirus cases and deaths as a result of the virus.

Second in line as a top concern is corruption at 10.8%, an increase of two points since last July. Over the past few months police arrests and interrogation of former minister Konrad Mizzi and Joseph Muscat’s chief of staff Keith Schembri, apart from revelations on the intimate relationship between murder suspect Yorgen Fenech and politicians and public officials, may have contributed to the increase in corruption as a concern.

The third ranked concern is illegal immigration at 7.2%, which, however, is half of what it was last July.

The number of migrants arriving by boat has dropped significantly following greater cooperation with the Libyan coastguard to stop departures.

The economy was identified by 6.7% of people as a worrying factor, followed by 3.1% who indicated unemployment as a concern. Last July unemployment had not featured as a concern as government unveiled its recovery package that included a wage supplement.

The appearance of joblessness as a concern is an indication that the pressures caused by the pandemic on businesses is now starting to be felt by employees.

Of note is the disappearance of ‘the Opposition’ as a concern. In July, the state of the Opposition was the third topmost concern at a time when rebel MPs moved to oust Adrian Delia.

An election held in October elected Bernard Grech as leader of the PN, effectively ending the infighting that was dogging the Opposition.

Young concerned about corruption, old about illegal immigration

A breakdown of concerns by age group reveals that apart from COVID-19, which is an overriding worry, corruption and the economy are the next two highest concerns among those aged between 18 and 35, and those aged between 36 and 50.

However, this changes in the higher age groups. Coronavirus remains the topmost concern, especially among the elderly, but the next two highest concerns among those aged between 51 and 65, and the 65+, are illegal immigration and corruption.

Analysing the results by political allegiance shows that COVID-19 is a much higher concern among Labour voters than Nationalist voters.

Coronavirus was identified as a concern by 52.9% of those who voted for the Labour Party in the last general election and 40.6% by Nationalist Party voters.

However, illegal immigration was the second highest concern among PL voters at 10.2%, followed by the economy at 7.1%. Corruption clocked in fourth at 4.7%.

The second highest concern among PN voters is corruption at 18.2%, followed by the economy at 5.5%. Illegal immigration is a concern for 3.7% of Nationalists and only places fifth.

Methodology

The survey was carried out between Monday 30 November 2020 and Friday 4 December 2020. 641 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 4.9% for a confidence interval of 95% for the overall results. Demographic and sub-group breakdowns have significantly larger margins of error.

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