MaltaToday Survey | Abela’s trust rating slips further as Grech outperforms party

Support for the Labour Party stands at 41%, a decline of 1.1 points, while that for the Nationalist Party runs at 33%, a decrease of 0.6 points

Robert Abela’s trust rating has slipped to 41.7% as it maintained the downward trajectory of the last few months, a MaltaToday survey shows.

The Prime Minister saw his trust rating drop by 0.4 points in the February survey released today, when compared to last month.

Although the decrease is marginal, the result is Abela’s lowest trust rating since becoming leader of the Labour Party and Prime Minister in January last year.

Abela has been losing ground since November when his trust rating stood at 48.4%.

His downward trajectory contrasts with Opposition leader Bernard Grech’s performance, which continues to improve.

In the latest survey, Grech’s trust rating stands at 35.1%, a marginal increase of 0.4 points over last month.

This is Grech’s best performance since becoming leader of the Nationalist Party in October.

The gap between the two leaders now stands at 6.6 points, the closest it has ever been since the last general election.

Although statistically the changes in trust are well within the margin of error, it appears that the trend lines for both leaders are establishing themselves in opposite directions.

Abela remains popular but has been struggling since November, while Grech has recovered some of the ground lost by his predecessor.

The numbers show that Abela is 0.7 points more popular than his own party, while Grech enjoys a two-point lead over his own party. This suggests that Grech may be breaking new ground but it still has to be seen whether that support will eventually translate into support for the PN. The survey shows the PN losing support.

Abela retains a substantial lead over Grech across all age groups apart from pensioners.

Among those aged 65 and over, Abela trails the Opposition leader by eight points. However, among those aged between 16 and 35, the Prime Minister is ahead by 12 points.

The Prime Minister also leads among both men and women, enjoying a stronger advantage over his rival among women.

On a geographical basis, Abela leads in the Northern, Southern Harbour, South-East and Western regions, while Grech leads in Gozo and the Northern Harbour region.

The numbers in these individual cohorts have to be interpreted with great caution because margins of error are much higher.

Inconsistent PN loses ground as Labour maintains downward trend

The gap between the two major parties stands at eight points as both lose some ground over last month, the MaltaToday survey released today shows.

Support for the Labour Party stands at 41%, a decline of 1.1 points, while that for the Nationalist Party runs at 33%, a decrease of 0.6 points.

Taking into account the actual performance of the political parties in the last general election as a starting point and using the survey results on how people voted back then and how they will vote now, shows the PL ahead with just under 24,000 votes. In the 2017 general election, the PL surpassed the PN by 35,280 votes.

This assumes that those who are unsure now, will vote according to their previous election choice.

The PL retains 78.5% of those who voted for it in the last general election, while the PN retains 71.5%. However, both parties have around 9% of their 2017 voter base, who say they will not vote – this translates into 16,000 votes for the PL and 13,000 votes for the PN.

The PN’s growth, however, continues to be hampered by a cohort of voters (15.2%) who supported it in 2017 but remain unsure of how they will vote if a general election is held tomorrow. Only 4.9% of Labour voters in 2017 are unsure.

Unsure voters are the most likely to be convinced to shift their vote, a situation that puts the PL in a better position than its rival.

The survey found that 4% of PL voters in 2017 will now vote PN, while 3.1% of Nationalist voters will shift to Labour.

The survey results show that the PL has maintained a downward trend line since November, while the PN’s fortunes remain inconsistent, unlike the performance of its leader Bernard Grech.

Support for ADPD remains ineffectual with the party registering 0.6%, a decline of 0.4 points over last month. However, the result is well within the margin of error.

The PL leads the PN in all age groups apart from the elderly where it trails by almost six points.

Among those aged between 16 and 35, the PL enjoys an advantage of 10 points over its rival.

The PL also trumps the PN among men and women.

On a regional basis, the PN beats Labour in the Northern Harbour and edges ahead in the Western region. The PL wins in all other regions, including Gozo, albeit with a marginal advantage.

Methodology

The survey was carried out between Monday 1 February 2021 and Friday 5 February 2021. 649 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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