MaltaToday Survey | Green shoots for Adrian Delia but it’s still not a contest

MaltaToday trust barometer sees Adrian Delia at 27.2% and Joseph Muscat at 48.6%, going up by seven points since the last survey in March, while Muscat’s has dropped by four

Adrian Delia can smile today as he gets a reprieve from flagging poll numbers
Adrian Delia can smile today as he gets a reprieve from flagging poll numbers

Adrian Delia’s trust rating has maintained an upward trend but the Opposition leader’s resurgence is still a slow, hard slog, a MaltaToday survey has found.

Delia’s trust rating now stands at 27.2%, up seven points since March and above the previous high of 22%, registered last October in the first head-to-head contest with Joseph Muscat.

But despite the improving numbers, Delia still trails the Prime Minister by 21 points.

The survey was held between the 23 and 28 April, in the second week of the Daphne Project revelations and before the Labour Party’s Workers’ Day mass meeting.

Muscat’s trust rating now stands at 48.6%, a drop of four points since March, when the last trust barometer was held.

Muscat’s drop is only three points lower than the abnormally high level of trust registered last October, his first 100 days in office after the June election.

The numbers suggest that the Daphne Project revelations, including the discovery of a clear link between 17 Black, a mysterious Dubai firm, and the Panama companies of Keith Schembri and Konrad Mizzi, did not have a devastating impact. Despite Muscat’s refusal to comment on the revelation, the drop in his trust rating falls within the margin of error, leaving him relatively unscathed by the reports.


Muscat wins Malta, Delia gets Gozo

The Prime Minister’s trust rating trumps Delia’s across all regions in Malta but trails in Gozo.

Muscat’s strongest numbers are in the traditionally Labour leaning southern regions. In the Southern Harbour, Muscat registers a trust rating of 59.6%, followed by the South East with 59.1%.

The Prime Minister’s weakest result is in Gozo, with a trust rating of 34.3%.

Gozo is Delia’s brightest star. After first registering a resurgence last March, the Nationalist Party leader has continued to strengthen his rating in Gozo, gaining more than 10 points.

Delia’s trust rating on the island region runs at 43.8%.

This suggests that the rift between Delia and rival leadership candidate Chris Said, a Gozitan, has continued to heal after the rapprochement at the start of the year.

Significantly, Delia registers a trust rating of 31.5% in the Northern Harbour region, climbing almost 11 points since March. Although he still trails Muscat in what is predominantly traditional blue territory, Delia’s comeback suggests that more Nationalists are warming up to him.

The Northern and Northern Harbour regions have the highest concentrations of people who trust none of the two leaders – almost a quarter in each.

Muscat down among young, up among elderly

Delia enjoys the trust of 61.8% of PN voters in 2017, a significant improvement over March when only 48.3% trusted him. But despite the improvement, just over a quarter of PN 2017 voters still say they trust none of the leaders.

On the flipside, Muscat’s trust rating among PL voters of 2017, reaches adulatory proportions with 92% saying they trust the Prime Minister.

Muscat is the most trusted across all age groups, although Delia has seen his trust levels increase across the board.

Just over a quarter of those aged between 18-35 and 36-50 trust none of the leaders.

The Prime Minister’s highest trust rating is among those aged 51 to 65 at 56.3%, and the lowest among the young (18-35), at 40.7%.

Compared to the March results, Muscat has lost 14 points among the young and almost three points among the middle-aged (36-50). The Prime Minister has retained the same level of trust among those aged 51 to 65 but increased his rating among the elderly by seven points.

Delia’s highest score is among the elderly (65+) at 36.4% and the lowest among the middle-aged at 21.3%. The PN leader’s trust rating among the young stands at 25.4%.

When compared to the March results, Delia has gained 13 points among the young, almost 12 points among those aged between 51 and 65 and four points among the elderly. However, the Opposition leader has failed to make inroads among the crucial middle-aged segment.

Muscat outstrips Delia across all educational levels, with the highest trust rating recorded among those with a secondary education at 59.3%. Among those with a tertiary education, Muscat’s trust rating falls to 34%.

But the figures show that those with a tertiary level tend to be the most distrustful of politicians, with a third saying they trust no one.

Delia’s highest trust rating is among those with a primary education at 34% and lowest among those with a secondary education at 24.6%.

PN wins back some of its lost sheep but Labour is still miles ahead 

The Labour Party will win by a landslide if an election is held now, despite the Nationalist Party regaining lost ground since Adrian Delia became leader.

Support for the PL stands at 45.8%, down almost four points since March, a MaltaToday survey found.

However, the party still enjoys a lead of nearly 14 points over the PN, which registered its highest result since Delia became leader in September last year.

Support for the PN stood at 32.1%, an increase of six points since March and up 10 points since October.

With support for the PL now standing at the same level as last October, the shorter lead between both parties is a result of PN voters returning to the fold after drifting away in the aftermath of Delia’s election as leader.

If the results are re-calculated on the basis of declared voting intention by removing those who said they will not vote (10.4%) and those who are not sure (10.8%), the PL could be looking at support levels in the region of 58% and a gap of around 52,000 votes on the PN. Although this is higher than the vote difference registered in the last election, it represents a climb down from the stratospheric gap of 90,000 votes registered in the March survey.

The survey also shows that support for the small political parties is insignificant. While the Democratic Party does not feature in the results – a reversal of fortunes since the March survey – Alternattiva Demokratika and the Maltese Patriots Movement register a combined 1%.

PN wins Gozo

Gozo represents a glimmer of hope for the PN. It is the only region in which the Opposition party has managed to make significant inroads to beat the PL.

The survey shows the PN enjoying the support of 43.5% in the island region, against the PL’s 34.3%. This result emulates the trust barometer for both leaders.

But the survey also shows the PN recovering valuable territory in the Northern Harbour region, which includes the traditionally blue localities of Sliema, St Julians and Swieqi.

In this region, the parties are neck and neck (PN at 36.4% and PL at 36.2%) with the PL losing significant support since March.

The results suggest the PN is regaining ground in its traditional districts but the resurgence remains fickle and very slow.

The PL beats its rival in the Northern, South Eastern, Southern Harbour and Western regions. It obtains absolute majorities in the Western and the two southern regions.

Its strongest showing (60.2%) is in the Southern Harbour region, made up of localities that are traditionally Labour leaning.

PL ahead in all age groups

The Labour Party also emerges as the strongest party across all age groups, with its strongest showing (56.5%) among those aged 51-65 and the elderly (55.6%).

The PL’s lowest result is in the age group between 18 and 35, where it registers the support of 37.7%.

The PN’s strongest showing is among the elderly (36.3%) and weakest among the young (30.4%).

When analysed by the educational attainment of respondents, the PL emerges strongest among those with a primary and secondary education, and enjoys a slight edge over the PN among those with a post-secondary education.

The PN is stronger than the PL among those with a tertiary education, scoring 33.7% against Labour’s 30.1%.

However, this category is also the one with the highest percentage of people who do not know who to vote for (16%) and who will not vote (19.5%).

How will you vote?

May 2018 PL 45.8%; PN 32.1%

March 2018 PL 49.6%; PN 25.9%

January 2018 PL 42%; PN 28.9%

November 2017 PL 49.8%; PN 20.7%

October 2017 PL 46%; PN 22%