MaltaToday Survey | Chris Fearne hits highest ever trust rating for any leader

Chris Fearne enjoys a trust rating never seen before by any other leader, hitting the 60.6% mark in the MaltaToday trust barometer

Trust me… I’m a minister
Trust me… I’m a minister

Chris Fearne enjoys a trust rating never seen before by any other leader, hitting the 60.6% mark in the MaltaToday trust barometer.

The survey was carried out last week when it was not yet clear who would contest the leadership of the Labour Party.

MaltaToday asked people who they trusted most between Opposition leader Adrian Delia and each of the four candidates – Chris Fearne, Miriam Dalli, Ian Borg and Robert Abela – as possible contestants for the leadership.

On Thursday, Dalli announced she will not contest but the question in her regard continued to be asked. The survey ended by Friday early afternoon just before Fearne’s announcement that he will contest and Borg’s withdrawal in support of Fearne.

Each of the four PL exponents would have beaten Delia hands down but Fearne emerged as the most trustworthy.

Fearne’s trust rating was also the highest ever registered in a MaltaToday survey by any political leader.

The direct contest with Fearne saw Delia register a dismal 17.8%, a loss of almost four points since November.

Fearne trumped the PN leader across all age groups, all regions and among men and women.

A paediatric surgeon by profession, the survey results suggest that at this precarious juncture people may be attracted to Fearne’s serious demeanour.

He enjoys a trust rating of 62.6% among those aged between 18 and 35, which is generally an age group that is very coy on attributing trust.

Fearne registers his highest trust rating in Gozo (69%), followed by the Southern Harbour (68.2%) and the South-Eastern region (63.5%). He also enjoys absolute majorities in the Northern and Northern Harbour regions.

The only region where Fearne suffers is the Western region, albeit still obtaining a rating of 49.8% against Delia’s 23.6%.

Trouble for Delia

The results spell trouble for Delia, especially since many of his supporters have always harboured the hope that he would be able to bridge the gap when the Labour Party elects a new leader after the ever-popular Muscat.

Delia only manages a trust rating of 38.6% among those who voted for the PN in the last general election. A significant 27.6% of the same cohort trust Fearne over Delia.

Fearne obtains the trust of 92.7% of PL voters.
Delia obtains better results in run-offs against Ian Borg and Robert Abela but still sustains heavy damage.

In the direct clash with Borg, Delia registers a trust rating of 22.6% against the minister’s 51.2%.

In the direct clash with Abela, the PN leader registers a trust rating of 21.5% as opposed to the Labour MP’s 49.3%. Of the four Labour contenders, Abela has the lowest trust rating.

In the direct clash with Miriam Dalli, Delia falters with a trust rating of 17.3% against the MEP’s 51.7%.

The political crisis has seen Delia and the Nationalist Party take somewhat of a back seat as civil society groups marched in the street and called the shots. At one point, Delia was even booed by the crowd as he exited parliament.

The survey results suggest that the rapprochement between Delia and the faction in the party that still supports Simon Busuttil has not helped improve the PN’s standing among the electorate and neither boosted Delia’s trust rating.


The survey was carried out between Monday 2 December 2019 and Friday 6 December 2019. 660 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%. Demographic and sub-group breakdowns have a larger margin of error.