MaltaToday Survey | Grech’s trust crashes by 10 points, PL ahead by 39,000 votes

The PN leader’s trust rating drops by 10 points and now stands at 25.7%, his worst result since taking the reins of the party last September

Bernard Grech’s trust rating has taken a hammering with a 10-point drop in just one month, MaltaToday’s May survey shows. 

The Nationalist Party leader achieves a trust rating of 25.7%, his worst result since becoming leader last September. This is the first time Grech’s trust level has gone below the 30% mark. 

On the flip side, Prime Minister Robert Abela’s trust rating continues to climb and is now at 49.6%, its highest since September. Abela’s trust score increases by more than two points since last month and he remains more popular than his party. 

Grech’s decline is steeper than the loss experienced by the PN and he is now less popular than his party. 

The trust gap between the leaders now stands at almost 24 points, the highest it has ever been between Abela and Grech. 

The survey was conducted between Monday 3 May and Friday 7 May. 

Riding wave of optimism 

The Labour leader appears to be riding on a wave of renewed optimism brought about by the successful roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine and government’s cautious approach to lifting of restrictions that gives hope of a return to relative normality. 

This appears to have taken the carpet from beneath Grech’s feet, who had projected people’s concerns well when the pandemic numbers soared at the start of the year. 

The PN leader fails to capitalise on his party’s attempt to portray itself like an alternative government when it launched its electoral manifesto guidelines last Monday. Instead, Grech has had to contend with the umpteenth turbulence within his party, although the impact of the Jason Azzopardi-Adrian Delia social media spat may not have been fully captured by this survey. 

The numbers suggest that the electorate still considers the Labour Party and Abela by far the more suitable choice to govern the country. The PN and Grech not only fail to make any inroads among voters that deserted the party over the years but are losing voters who supported the party in 2017. 

Grech fails to woo the young 

Abela beats Grech among men and women, across all age groups and across all regions. 

The Prime Minister continues to enjoy a high trust rating among those aged between 16 and 35 (48.9%), which contrasts with the Opposition leader’s dismal showing of 13.5%. 

Abela’s strongest trust rating is among pensioners where he obtains a score of 52%. This age group also represents Grech’s best performance with 36.5%. 

On a geographical basis, Abela’s highest trust ratings are in the Southern Harbour and the South-East, where he obtains scores of 61.3% and 56.4% respectively. Grech fails to leave his mark in these traditional Labour-leaning regions, scoring 18.1% in the South-East and 19.4% in the Southern Harbour. 

In Gozo, the Prime Minister leads with 43% but Grech has managed to narrow the gap since last month, scoring 39.2%. 

However, Abela has managed to gain the upper hand in the Northern region, obtaining 47% against Grech’s 24.4%. Last month, Grech beat Abela with a comfortable margin in this region. 

Regional results have to be interpreted with caution given that a smaller sample size gives higher margins of error.