MaltaToday Survey | All-time high for Muscat as Delia falters

In a survey held right before the 17 Black revelations, Joseph Muscat’s trust rating had reached an all-time high of 54.5% in the wake of Budget 2019

Joseph Muscat delivering a speech on Budget night
Joseph Muscat delivering a speech on Budget night

Joseph Muscat’s trust rating has reached an all-time high of 54.5% in the wake of a budget, which in his words has dished out the “treats”.

But while the Prime Minister saw his trust barometer head upwards – he added almost two points from the previous month – his rival Adrian Delia had to contend with a reversal of fortunes.

Delia’s November trust rating stood at 17.8%, two points less than a month earlier.

However, the results of the November MaltaToday survey have to be interpreted in context. The survey was carried out between the 5 and 8 November, to purposely gauge people’s reactions to both the budget and the subsequent parliamentary speeches by the political leaders.

However, during the same period Delia’s marital problems also came to light. This fuelled speculation of a possible leadership change in the Nationalist Party that could have harmed the Opposition leader’s trust rating.

But even a week is a long time in politics. The survey did not gauge people’s reaction to the 17 Black revelations, which came out last Friday.

With an almost 37-point difference between Muscat’s trust rating and that of Delia, the chasm between both leaders continued to persist more than a year after the PN leader’s coming into the political scene.

Muscat is trusted more than Delia by both men and women. The Prime Minister also trumps the Opposition leader across all age groups and all regions.

In Gozo, Delia slumped to his worst showing at 6.4%, which is a far cry from Muscat’s 56.9%. Delia’s trust rating in the Southern Harbour region is only marginally better than Gozo, registering 8.7%, as opposed to Muscat’s 69.4%.

The Labour leader remained hugely popular in the Southern Harbour and South Eastern regions, which are traditionally red territory.

However, even if his rating did not surpass the 50% mark in the other regions, Muscat’s trust levels are way superior to those of Delia. The closest gap between the leaders is in the Northern Harbour region and even here it is still a huge 21-point difference.

Muscat has retained the trust of 97.2% of PL voters in 2017, with an insignificant 1.9% saying they trusted no one.

The survey did not gauge any movement of PL voters to Delia.

Not the same can be said of PN voters. Delia could only muster the trust of 44.7%, with 40.7% insisting they trusted none of the two major leaders.

Significantly, 8.1 % of PN voters have said they now trust Muscat. This is an indication that Muscat is still managing to win votes from the PN.

Unsettled PN slumps to worst result in 12 months

The Nationalist Party has slumped to its worst result in a year with the latest MaltaToday survey putting its support at 20.2%.

The PN’s result was only four points higher than the share of voters who said they were uncertain who to vote for (16%).

The survey confirmed that the PN continued to struggle to retain the support of those who voted for it in the 2017 election.

Only 49.8% of 2017 PN voters said they would vote for the party if an election were to be held tomorrow.

PN voters remained lukewarm about the party they supported in June 2017 with 24.3% saying they are uncertain who to vote for and 21.7% declaring they would not vote if an election were held tomorrow.

Additionally, there were 1.9% of 2017 PN voters who said they would vote for the PL.

And with the small political parties failing to make any inroads – Alternattiva Demokratika and the Democratic Party registered a combined result of 1.4% - the Labour Party continued to have a field day.

The survey results showed support for the PL running at 47.7%, which is similar to the support levels registered in the previous two months.

Of interest is the fact that in a post-budget scenario, while the Prime Minister’s trust rating increased by almost two points, support for the PL remained stable, registering an insignificant increase of less than half a percentage point.

The PL trumped the PN among men and women, registering stronger support with the female population.

While 50.2% of women said, they would vote PL, support dropped to 45.6% among men. Males were likelier than females to support the smaller parties.

Labour was ahead of its rival in all age groups and across all regions.