MaltaToday Survey | PN voters divided over Delia-Busuttil showdown

The numbers paint a complex picture of a deeply divided PN that has yet to find its feet and direction after last year’s election debacle and a bruising leadership contest

Simon Busuttil and Adrian Delia
Simon Busuttil and Adrian Delia

Adrian Delia’s decision to ask his predecessor to suspend himself from the parliamentary group after the Egrant inquiry findings left Nationalist Party voters deeply divided.

The MaltaToday survey found that 38.7% of those who voted PN in the last election agreed with Delia’s decision but an equally strong 33.7% disagreed.

The rest of PN voters (27.7%) were undecided about Delia’s decision to show Simon Busuttil the door.

The overall results were less polarised with Delia’s decision receiving the backing of 59% of all voters, giving rise to a deep contrast between what PN voters feel and the rest of the population.

The PN leader eventually backtracked on the request for Busuttil to suspend himself, which was possibly a reaction to the fact that the division among PN MPs was a reflection of deeper problems among the party’s rank and file.

However, the divisive result among PN voters may have been a response to the extreme action of asking a former leader to suspend himself from the parliamentary group rather than a rejection of Delia himself.

When asked who they believed was right on the Egrant affair between the PN leader and his predecessor, 34.2% of PN voters said Delia while 14.9% said Busuttil. However, 12% of PN voters believed none of the two was right and 38.9% were unsure.

Nationally, the overall numbers militated in favour of Delia with 40% indicating he was right, as opposed to Busuttil, who could only muster 7.5%.

The numbers paint a complex picture of a deeply divided PN that has yet to find its feet and direction after last year’s election debacle and a bruising leadership contest.

While Delia’s outlook is to broaden the PN’s message beyond the talk on corruption and good governance that characterised the party platform under his predecessor, the survey found that 44.9% of PN voters believe corruption should remain the party’s main battle cry despite the Egrant inquiry findings.

While 25% of PN voters are unsure of whether corruption should remain a dominant issue, 30.2% disagree.

Balancing out these deeply contrasting views will not be easy for Delia, more so when the national result showed that only 29.6% of people (irrespective of political allegiance) believe corruption should remain the PN’s main battle cry in the aftermath of the Egrant inquiry. A whopping 45.7% said the issue should not be a main issue for the PN, while 24.7% were unsure.

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