Trust barometer: Abela maintains wide lead over Grech

The PM scored 49.2% in MaltaToday's survey, while Bernard Grech scored 25.9% for his second worst result since becoming PN leader

Robert Abela loses two points in October’s trust barometer and Bernard Grech sees his rating cut by four points as the gap between the leaders widens to 23 points. 

The Prime Minister scores 49.2% in MaltaToday’s survey, a decline of 2.3 points. He remains significantly more popular than the Labour Party, suggesting a growth potential for the party. 

The Opposition leader scores 25.9%, which is his second worst result since becoming Nationalist Party leader in 2020. Grech sees his trust rating decrease by 3.6 points over last month and is less popular than his own party. 

The gap between the leaders now stands at 23.3 points, an increase of 1.3 points over September. 

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

Among those aged 16-35, Abela is trusted by 34.2% against Grech’s 24.6%. The results differ significantly from those for the respective political parties where the PN just pips Labour. 

But this age group is also the most detached from politics with 34.7% saying they trust none of the leaders and 6.6% are unsure. 

Abela’s strongest showing is among those aged between 51 and 65, where he scores 66.7% against Grech’s 22%. 

On a geographical basis, Abela enjoys a trust rating of 47.8% in Gozo against Grech’s 34.9%. In the South-East, Southern Harbour and Western regions, the Prime Minister’s trust rating surpasses the 50% mark. 

Abela enjoys the trust of 90% of those who voted for the Labour Party in the last general election. Less than one per cent of 2017 Labour voters trust Grech. 

Grech enjoys the trust of 62.6% of those who voted PN in the 2017 election. But 3.3% of PN voters trust the Prime Minister and a significant 29.9% trust neither of the two leaders. 

If an election is held tomorrow, from those who will vote PL, 98.1% trust Abela, none trust Grech and 1.9% trust none of the two leaders. 

From those who will vote PN, 84.7% trust Grech, 1.8% trust Abela and 8.4% trust no one.  

PN support plummets as it struggles with its own voters 

Support for the Nationalist Party has plummeted over the past month, leading to a 16-point gap with the Labour Party, a MaltaToday survey shows. 

The October survey puts the PN at 27.3%, a decrease of four points since September. The Labour Party remains relatively stable at 43.2%, a minimal decrease of less than a percentage point. 

ADPD registers 1.6%, an increase of 0.4 points over last month. The party has seen its support grow consistently since April, albeit in baby steps. 

When taking into account how people voted in the last general election and analysing what would they would do now, shows that the PL enjoys a margin upward of 50,000 votes over the PN. 

This represents a drastic improvement for the PL over the vote margin of 33,000 registered last month. The outcome is the result of the PN’s collapse. 
A deeper analysis of the figures shows that the PN was snubbed by its own voters despite the survey coming after the party’s Independence Day celebrations. 

The survey was carried out between 27 September and 6 October. 

The survey shows that 15.2% of those who voted for the PN in the 2017 general election are now saying they will not vote. This represents an upward movement of six points since last month. 

The PN also suffers from a decrease in voter retention with 67.7% of 2017 voters saying they will vote for the party if an election is held tomorrow. Just a month ago, the PN’s voter retention rate stood at 79.5%. 

The PN also loses more voters to Labour than it gains. While 2.1% of those who voted PN in the last election now say they will vote for the PL, only a mere 0.4% of PL voters say they will switch allegiance. 

The PL’s retention rate stands at a high of 81.7%. 

It is unclear what prompted this sudden decline in the PN’s fortunes although the cold war between Adrian Delia’s canvassers and the party’s administration may have contributed to this. Bernard Grech had admonished Delia’s canvassers for turning up at the PN rally on the Granaries in uniform and staying as a group. 

The saving grace for the PN appears to be the 16-35 age group where it manages to just get ahead of the PL with 27.3% against 26.4%. 

However, this age group is also the one with the highest number of disinterested voters. A whopping 22.2% of young voters say they will not vote and 16.3% are unsure who to vote for. 

The PL leads the PN in all other age groups and is particularly strong among the 51-65 cohort, where it garners the support of 60.7%. 

Among pensioners aged 65 and over, the PL enjoys the support of 47.7% against the PN’s 34%. 

On a geographic basis, the parties are neck and neck in Gozo but the PL leads comfortably in all other regions. 

Of note is a significant decline the PN suffers in the Western region, where it scores a measly 18.8%. The Western region is made up of Żebbuġ, Siġġiewi, Attard, Balzan, Iklin, Lija, Rabat, Mdina, Dingli and Mtarfa. 

The data for these sub groups has to be interpreted with caution since the margins of error are much higher than those for the overall result. 


The survey was carried out between Monday 27 September 2021 and Wednesday 6 October 2021. 647 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.