MaltaToday Survey | On the issues that matter, government gets positive marks except the environment

Voters think positively about government's handling of the economy, but the same can't be said for corruption and the environment

Government is judged positively by voters for its handling of the economy and ensuring people have money in their pockets, a MaltaToday survey shows. 

However, it fails miserably in its fight against corruption and the environment. On migration government is judged negatively even if less harshly than corruption and the environment. 

The survey asked respondents to judge government’s performance in five specific areas: the economy, the environment, the fight against corruption, immigration and money in their pockets. 

Respondents were also asked which of these five issues was the most important to them. 

The results show that 39.5% of people believe the economy is the most important issue to them, followed by 29.4% who said money in their pockets. 

The environment placed third with 21%, while the fight against corruption and immigration were mentioned by 7.3% and 1% respectively. 

This means that on the two issues that matter most to voters, the Labour government receives a positive judgement for its performance. 

This suggests that on bread and butter issues the government is in tune with people’s expectations. It is less so on the environment, which is a quality of life issue and for which Labour has received ample criticism. 

But the findings also show that although government is judged negatively on corruption, even by Labour voters, the issue is not high on the priority list for people. 

In line with historical trends on voter concerns that show migration becoming an issue only when boat arrivals start picking up, the matter is absolutely not a priority for voters at this juncture. 

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

What do the findings show? 

Respondents were asked to judge the government’s performance by indicating whether it was: very good, good, so and so, bad, or very bad. 


The overall results show that 53.9% of voters gave government a good or very good performance. Only 11.1% judged government’s performance as bad or very bad. 

Labour voters overwhelmingly gave the government a positive rating: 82.5% of those who voted for the Labour Party in 2017 judged the performance as good or very good. 

Nationalist voters are not as appreciative but their judgement is not negative. While the absolute majority of PN voters (57.2%) believe government’s handling of the economy is ‘so and so’, 19.6% judged it to be good and 20.9% believe the government’s management of the economy is bad or very bad. 

Money in your pocket 

Overall results show that 41.3% of voters believe government’s handling of this matter is good or very good. This contrasts with 19.5% who judged government badly or very badly. 

When the figures are analysed by political allegiance, they show that 61.9% of Labour voters and 17.3% of Nationalist voters, judge government’s performance as good or very good. 

PN voters are more critical with 40.1% of them giving government a negative rating (bad or very bad) and 39.8% describing government’s performance as ‘so and so’. 


This issue remains the Labour government’s bogeyman with only 17.5% of voters giving the administration a positive rating (good or very good). On the contrary, 51.2% of voters believe government’s performance is bad or very bad, while 30% think it is ‘so and so’. 

Labourites are evenly split in their judgement. While 29% give government a positive rating, 30.4% give it a negative rating and 40.6% believe the government’s performance is ‘so and so’. 

Nationalist voters appear to be more demanding in this respect with 75.8% giving the government a negative rating (bad or very bad). Only 4.1% of PN voters believe the government is performing positively (good or very good) on the environment and 17.3% give government a ‘so and so’ rating. 

Fight against corruption 

Despite the reforms undertaken by Robert Abela’s administration over the past 22 months, an absolute majority of voters (57.2%) give the government a negative rating (bad or very bad). This contrasts with 13.9% who give the government a positive rating (good or very good) and a quarter who judge the performance as ‘so and so’. 

Contrary to popular perception, 33.4% of Labour voters give the government a negative rating and 36.9% believe the administration has performed ‘so and so’. Only a quarter of Labourites (25.8%) give government a good or very good rating. 

The picture is skewed on the negative side among Nationalist Party voters. An insignificant number (0.6%) judge government’s performance positively, while an overwhelming majority of 87.4% believe the administration has performed badly or very badly. 


Judgement on this issue provides a mixed bag of ratings. While 22.6% give government a positive rating (good or very good), 30% judge the performance negatively (bad or very bad) and 44% are neither here nor there. 

Labour voters appear more appreciative of government’s handling of migration with 36.5% giving it a positive rating. However, 18.6% of Labourites give the government bad marks, while 43.7% believe the performance is ‘so and so’. 

Among PN voters 45.7% judge the government negatively on this issue, while 7.6% give it a positive rating and 40.7% are lukewarm.