MaltaToday survey | Gozo is PN leader Adrian Delia’s only glimmer of hope

MaltaToday's survey on Sunday was held in the last week of February and the result in Gozo represents a massive uptick for PN leader Adrian Delia

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia
Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia

Adrian Delia’s trust rating continues to suffer but a glimmer of hope did emerge in Gozo for the Nationalist Party leader in the last MaltaToday survey.

While Delia continues to trail Prime Minister Joseph Muscat by a massive margin across all regions, the sister island bucked the trend.

In Gozo, Delia registered his highest trust rating, which at 33.5% was higher than Muscat’s (29.1%).

The survey published last Sunday was held in the last week of February and the result in Gozo represents a massive uptick for Delia.

In the previous month’s survey, Delia could only muster a trust rating of 9.2%, against Muscat’s 43.7% in Gozo.

The 24-point increase begs the question as to what may have happened to justify this massive improvement. Delia’s jump came at Muscat’s expense and a drastic reduction in uncertain voters.

It is pertinent to note that between the two surveys, Delia reshuffled his shadow Cabinet and retained failed leadership contender Chris Said as spokesperson for Gozo, giving him the additional duty of shadowing constitutional reform.

Said went on to address a Sunday political meeting during which he also embraced Delia. The move was interpreted by political observers as a rapprochement between the two men.

While Delia faces big trust issues nationwide, his problems in Gozo were accentuated by the fallout from the bruising leadership race with Said.

After Said lost the leadership to Delia last September, no Gozitan contested for a post on the PN executive and the situation in the sister island remained somewhat hostile to the new leader.

However, it appears that PN voters in Gozo have picked up the signals of rapprochement and are warming up to Delia.

Whether this represents a trend still has to be seen but the improvement in Gozo is but a glimmer of hope within the overall picture that sees Delia’s trust rating trailing that of the Prime Minister by 33 points.

The PN leader’s performance is hindered by his party’s own supporters. Of those who say they will vote PN if an election is held tomorrow, 26.8% trust none of the two major leaders. Delia’s trust rating among PN voters at 66.3%, contrasts with Muscat’s trust rating among those who will vote PL (91.1%).

And among those who voted PN in the last election, Delia only manages to gain the trust of 48.3%. This suggests there might be a different electoral base forming around the PN that is, however, still a long way off from posing a credible electoral challenge to the Labour Party.