Poll dip for Labour as Grech and PN reverse losses

Labour down, Abela trust up, but Grech and PN are reversing downward spiral

The Labour Party’s support drops three points to reach 36.4%, MaltaToday’s December survey shows, while the Nationalist Party registers a four-point gain to hit 24.2%.

The Prime Minister bucks his party’s downward trend and sees his trust rating increase by almost one point to 47.8%, while Bernard Grech’s increases by almost four points to 22%.

VOTING: Labour support is lowest since election as PN reverses downward trend

The Labour Party has lost three points when compared to October and support now stands at 36.4%, its lowest since the election, MaltaToday’s December survey shows.

The PL has lost almost eight points since May as it remains caught up in a downward spiral.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, the Nationalist Party gains just over four points since October to register 24.2%. The uptick reverses the PN’s downward spiral since the election but support is still below the July level when it scored 25.8%.

The gap between the parties now stands at 12.2 points.

ADPD sheds one point to register 2.3%, while other parties feature with 0.8%. Non-voters remain relatively stable at 22.2%, while uncertain voters decrease by almost two points to 13.2%.

The survey was carried out between 22 November and 1 December, coinciding with government’s decision to put forward an amendment to introduce exceptions to Malta’s strict anti-abortion law.

The amendment was presented by ministers Chris Fearne and Jonathan Attard on 16 November and the parliamentary debate started on 28 November.

It is unlikely the abortion debate is the sole reason for the PL’s loss of support, given that the decline is a continuation of a trend that started after the general election. Additionally, if abortion has harmed the PL, this does not appear to be the case for Robert Abela whose trust rating has increased despite taking a leading role in putting forward the abortion amendment.

It is also unclear whether the abortion debate has helped consolidate the PN’s support, and consequently bolster Bernard Grech’s trust rating. The PN and Grech have come out against the amendment.

PN gains from Labour

The PN gains 1.3% of Labour election voters and loses nothing to its political adversary, while it registers a retention rate of 67.5%, an increase of nine points over October. The Opposition party also sees a decline in the number of 2022 voters who say they will not vote. The December survey shows that 16.2% of PN voters will not vote if an election is held now. Just two months ago, this figure stood at 21.1%.

The PL’s retention rate stands at 76.7%, a significant decrease of six points and the number of voters who now say they will not vote increases by two points to 9.9%.

PL beats PN in four of six regions

A breakdown of the survey results shows the PL beating the PN among men and women, across all age groups and in four of the six regions.

The PL’s support among voters aged between 16 and 35 is double that of the PN – the PL scores 31.7% against the PN’s 16.1%.

The shortest distance between the two major parties is among pensioners (65+) where a four-point gap separates them. The PL scores 34.5%, while the PN scores 13.8%.

On a regional basis, the PN beats Labour in the Northern region (30.5% versus 28.1%) and the Northern Harbour region (32.7% versus 30.6%).

However, in all other regions, the PL forges ahead with substantially healthy margins. The biggest difference is in the South-Eastern region, where the PN only registers 9.3% against the PL’s 49.1%.

TRUST: Abela trounces Grech all around despite PN leader’s trust bounce

Robert Abela and Bernard Grech have seen their trust rating increase since October with the Nationalist leader recovering almost four points, MaltaToday’s December survey shows.

The Prime Minister registers 47.8% on the trust barometer, an uptick of almost one point, while the Opposition leader scores 22%.

The trust gap between the two leaders now stands at 25.8 points, which is down from the 28.8 points recorded in October.

Abela’s upward movement goes against his party’s fortunes. The Labour Party experiences a three-point decrease since October.

On the opposite end, the Nationalist Party leader’s higher trust rating follows his party’s improved fortunes.

Abela earns the trust of 89.5% of those who voted for the PL in the March general election. He also earns the trust of 5% of Nationalist voters, bucking his own party’s result – the survey shows the PL gaining no voters from PN.

Grech earns the trust of 57.6% of PN voters and 1.6% of PL voters. Although Grech’s trust rating among PN voters has improved by five points, he still has a problem to convince Nationalists to trust him. The survey shows that 32.5% of PN voters in the last election trust no one.

The trust barometer shows Abela beating Grech among men and women, across all age groups and all regions.

Among those aged between 16 and 35, the Prime Minister scores a trust rating of 45.8% as opposed to Grech’s 16.6%. The closest the two leaders come is among pensioners with Abela scoring 45.4% and Grech 36.5%.

On a geographical basis, Grech does not follow his party’s fortunes in the Northern and Northern Harbour regions, where he trails Abela like everywhere else.

Abela does best in the South-Eastern region, where he scores 64.1% against Grech’s poorly 7.5%.

In Gozo, Abela registers a trust rating of 43.4% against Grech’s 31.1%.

The findings suggest that the abortion debate kick-started by government’s proposed amendment to introduce an exception to Maltese law, does not seem to have influenced people’s trust in the leaders.

Abela wins among pensioners, normally considered to be the most conservative cohort, and beats Grech in Gozo, a bulwark of conservativism. Additionally, the Prime Minister earns the trust of more Nationalists than Grech gains from Labourites.


The survey was carried out between Tuesday 22 November 2022 and Thursday 1 December 2022. 650 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 4.2% for a confidence interval of 95% for the overall results. Demographic and sub-group breakdowns have significantly larger margins of error.