MaltaToday Survey | Joseph Muscat enjoys highest ever trust rating as Adrian Delia falters

The first 2019 MaltaToday survey shows Joseph Muscat with 34 points ahead of Adrian Delia as the latter experiences a dip after separation from wife and PN factionalism

Muscat is hugely popular among women, obtaining a trust rating of 60.3%, as opposed to 50.6% of men
Muscat is hugely popular among women, obtaining a trust rating of 60.3%, as opposed to 50.6% of men

Joseph Muscat continues to enjoy unparalleled trust among voters with the latest MaltaToday survey giving him a record rating of 54.8%.

This is the Prime Minister’s highest ever trust rating, surpassing even the post-Budget November result.

Muscat starts the year 34 points ahead of Opposition leader Adrian Delia, who experienced a dip in his trust rating, and now stands at 20.4%.

Women flock to Muscat

Muscat enjoys the trust of an absolute majority of men, women and people of all ages. He is hugely popular among women, obtaining a trust rating of 60.3%, as opposed to 50.6% of men.

The numbers show that Muscat continues to be the Labour Party’s biggest asset. Nothing thrown at the Prime Minister since the 2017 general election has managed to damage him. His consistently high trust rating suggests that any strategy by the Opposition to directly target him is bound to fail.

Muscat trumps Delia across all regions, with significant distance separating them in Gozo, the Southern Harbour region and the South East.

In Gozo, a formerly PN hotbed, Muscat enjoys a trust rating of 68.4%. In the Southern Harbour and South Eastern regions – traditionally bastions of the PL – Muscat scores 67.1% and 58.8% respectively.

The Northern Harbour region is the only one where Muscat does not score an absolute majority but with 44.7%, he is still comfortably ahead of Delia, who scores 27.2%.

The PL leader is trusted by 96.2% of those who voted for his party in the last general election, with a mere 0.3% of Labour voters saying they now trust Delia.

Muscat’s success story has its flipside in Delia’s numbers.

Delia’s progress stymied

The survey was the first to be held in the aftermath of accusations of domestic violence made against Delia by his wife. The Nationalist Party leader denied the allegations but had to dedicate a lot of energy at the start of the year to ward off a rebellion by some of his MPs, who wanted him to resign.

The turmoil appears to have damaged Delia and stymied the progress registered in the last survey held at the start of December. His trust rating has dropped by more than four points since then.

The Opposition leader appears unable to motivate voters. Only 14.1% of women and a quarter of men trust him, while his strongest trust rating by age group is among the elderly. Delia receives the trust of 27% of those aged 65 and over but plummets to just 11% among those aged 36 to 50.

Gozo debacle

But in no other place than Gozo are Delia’s woes more pronounced. None of the respondents from Gozo indicated Delia when asked who they trusted between the two main political leaders.

This does not mean that nobody in Gozo trusts Delia but the numbers may be statistically insignificant to be captured by a survey. More than a quarter of Gozitans trust no one.

Delia’s disastrous result in Gozo suggests that he is hugely disconnected from the Gozitan electorate. His personal troubles may not have helped him either in a more conservative island.

But the PN leader also enjoys dismal trust ratings in the South Eastern and Southern Harbour regions, obtaining 15.3% and 11.7% respectively.

His strongest showing is in the Western region, scoring a trust rating of 31.1%.

Back to square one

Delia manages to secure the trust of 47.4% of those who voted PN in the last general election, a drop of 13 points from the December survey.

It appears that Delia’s progress among PN voters at the end of last year has been reversed. The number of 2017 PN voters who trust no one registered a slight uptick to 34%, while 9.3% are unsure who to trust.

Labour starts EP election race 18 points ahead

The European Parliament election is less than four months away and the Labour Party starts the race 18 points ahead of its rival, a MaltaToday survey shows.

Asked who they will vote for in the European Parliament election in May, 42% said PL and 24.4% indicated the Nationalist Party.

The result represents a decline in support for both major parties when compared to the findings of a survey in December.

The PL loses six points and the PN loses almost five points. On the flipside, the survey shows that 19.3% of people are uncertain who to vote for, an uptick of 12 points since December.

It has to be pointed out that the question asked in the current survey, and all surveys to be held until May, is directly linked to the forthcoming European Parliament election and not a hypothetical election to be held ‘tomorrow’.

This may make people more cautious about their voting intentions.

The smaller parties – the Democratic Party and Alternattiva Demokratika – have once again failed to register any progress. Support for the PD drops to 0.3% from 0.9% in December and likewise, AD experiences a reduction to 0.4% from 0.7%.

The PL is stronger than the PN among women and men, and across all age groups. Like its leader, the PL enjoys stronger support among women than men.

The PL emerges as the largest party in all regions, with its strongest showing at 56.6% recorded in the Southern Harbour region.

In Gozo, the PL scores 41.5% against the PN’s 11.1%. The result confirms the PN’s problems in the sister island but shows that despite Delia being hugely unpopular, voters are still willing to support the PN.

Methodology

The survey was carried out between Thursday 21 January and Thursday 28 January. 597 respondents opted to complete the survey. Stratified random sampling based on gender, region and age was used to replicate the Maltese demographics. The estimated margin of error is 5% for a confidence interval of 95%.

More in Data & Surveys