MaltaToday Survey | Roads minister Ian Borg propelled to top of popularity rankings

Ian Borg, Chris Fearne and Konrad Mizzi are Labour’s most popular ministers

Transport and planning minister Ian Borg
Transport and planning minister Ian Borg

Ian Borg is ranked as the best performing minister by people of all ages, men and women, Labourites and Nationalists, a MaltaToday survey has found.

The infrastructure minister was ranked top by 21.6% of people, a result very likely influenced by his very visible portfolio that includes roads.

Borg, who is the youngest minister, has been given a massive budget that has resulted in what is possibly the largest overhaul of Malta’s road network in decades.

Second and third in line came Chris Fearne, the deputy prime minister, who also doubles up as health minister, with 12.9% and Konrad Mizzi, the tourism minister, with 8.2%, respectively.

Social Solidarity Minister Michael Falzon came in fourth with 4.4%.


Almost a third of those questioned (32%) did not know who to choose. These included those who mentioned Joseph Muscat. The Prime Minister was excluded from this exercise.

Borg was deemed to be the best performing minister by 25.5% of people who voted for the Labour Party in 2017 and 19.5% of Nationalist Party voters.

Among Labour voters, Konrad Mizzi pipped district rival Chris Fearne to second place. The tourism minister was deemed to be the best performing minister by 14.5% of PL voters, while Fearne came in third with 12.9%.

Fourth in line among PL voters was Finance Minister Edward Scicluna with 5.8%, followed by Social Solidarity Minister Michael Falzon (5.4%).

Borg retained top post among Nationalist voters while Fearne placed second with 13.9%.

Surprisingly, despite the PN’s criticism over what it says is a breakdown in law and order, Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia came in third among PN voters with 4.6%.

Falzon scooped up fourth place with 4.2%.

Reviled by the Opposition, Mizzi’s standing crashed among PN voters with only 1.8% mentioning him as Cabinet’s best performer.

There was no difference between men and women in the top three spots of the rankings, although Borg received more plaudits from men.

Among women, the infrastructure minister topped the list with 15.3%, followed by Fearne with 13.4% and Konrad Mizzi with 6.9%.

Among men, Borg’s approval stood at 26.4%, followed by Fearne with 12.5% and Konrad Mizzi with 9.2%.

The infrastructure minister also ranked top among all age groups, followed by Fearne. Borg’s strongest results was among those aged between 18 and 35 where he scored 31.9%, and his weakest among the elderly, where he topped the list with 14.2%.

Fearne placed second in all age groups except the 51-65 cohort, where he was surpassed by Konrad Mizzi.

Borg tops rankings in four of six regions

Borg ran ahead of his Cabinet colleagues in four regions – the Northern, South Eastern, Southern and Western.

His strongest showing was in the Western region, which largely coincides with his electoral district, where Borg was ranked top by 30.5% of people.

In this region, at a distant second and third came Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana and Fearne with 4.2% and 4.1% respectively.

In the Northern region, Borg (22.3%) was followed by Konrad Mizzi (16.2%) and Michael Farrugia (7.8%). In each of the two southern regions, the ranking reflected the overall result with Borg, Fearne and Konrad Mizzi placing first, second and third respectively.

In Gozo, as expected, Caruana pipped Borg to the top spot. Caruana was selected as the best performer by 17.8% of Gozitans, while Borg came in behind her with 17.4%. Fearne placed a distant third with 4.7%.

In the Northern Harbour, Fearne took the top spot with 20.1% followed by Borg with 18.6%. Falzon placed third with 9.5%.

Best ranked parliamentary secretaries are in Castille

The MaltaToday survey also asked people to indicate who of the parliamentary secretaries they believed was doing the best job.

Silvio Schembri’s job to turn Malta into the blockchain island appears to have earned him plaudits with people ranking him as the top performing parliamentary secretary.

Schembri was appointed parliamentary secretary for the first time after the 2017 election. He ranked first in a MaltaToday survey with 9.3% of people selecting him as the best performing parliamentary secretary.

Next in line came newcomer Julia Farrugia Portelli with 7.1%. Elected for the first time to parliament in the last election from the fifth district, she was immediately appointed parliamentary secretary responsible for reforms.

She is responsible for Identity Malta and is currently captaining the reforms linked to cannabis legalisation and parliamentary quotas for women.

Both Schembri and Farrugia Portelli are parliamentary secretaries within the Office of the Prime Minister.

Third in line came Valletta doctor Deo Debattista with 4.9%, followed by former Paola mayor Silvio Parnis with 4.3%.

Debattista and Parnis are both parliamentary secretaries within the Justice and Local Government Ministry responsible for cleansing and local councils respectively.

Clifton Grima, the sports parliamentary secretary within the Education Ministry, comes in fifth with 4.1%.

More than half of voters (51.7%) did not know who the best performing junior minister was.

Women choose Farrugia Portelli, the young prefer Schembri

Farrugia Portelli took the top post among women voters. She was deemed to be the best performing parliamentary secretary by 10.1% of women. Schembri came second with 6.8% and Parnis third with 5.6%.

Schembri regained the top spot among male voters with 11.2%, followed by Grima with 6.1% and Debattista with 5.3%. Farrugia Portelli was pushed to fourth place with 4.7%.

Schembri emerged as the best performer (10.5%) among voters aged between 18 and 35, followed by Gozitan Clint Camilleri and Grima, who each received the support of 5.6% of young voters.

Camilleri is parliamentary secretary responsible for animal rights, hunting, fisheries and agriculture within the Environment Ministry.

Debattista came in fourth with 5.4%, followed by Farrugia Portelli with 4.8%.

Schembri retained the top spot among voters aged 36 and 50 with 12.4%, followed by Farrugia Portelli with 7.2%.

In the 51-65 age bracket, Farrugia Portelli took the top spot with 10.5%, followed by Parnis with 7.6% and Aaron Farrugia with 6.1%.

Aaron Farrugia is responsible for EU funds within the European Affairs Ministry.

Schembri came in at fifth with 5.3%.

Nationalists opt for Clifton Grima

Among the elderly, as expected, Anthony Agius Decelis took the top spot with 10%, followed by Schembri with 9.4%.

Agius Decelis is parliamentary secretary for the elderly within the Social Solidarity Ministry. Interestingly, Agius Decelis also emerged as the top choice in Gozo, pipping Gozitan Clint Camilleri.

Schembri emerged as the top choice for Labour voters with 13.6%, followed by Farrugia Portelli with 11.6% and Aaron Farrugia with 6.6%.

Among Nationalist voters, Clifton Grima took the top spot with 6.1%, followed by Schembri with 5.6%.


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%.