Labour leads with 9 points, as PN edges closer

The Labour Party presently enjoys a strong 9-point lead (34.1%) over the PN according to the MaltaToday survey.

Opposition leader Joseph Muscat and Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi.
Opposition leader Joseph Muscat and Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi.

Labour leader Joseph Muscat has seen his trust rating dip by 7 points compared to a smaller 2-point drop by Gonzi. At 2%, the Greens who have been more visible on the media in the past weeks have registered their highest level of support since the March local elections. Moreover, in a sign of disenchantment with the political system, the number of respondents intent on not voting has increased by 5 points. The number of non-voters is now the highest registered in the past 12 months of surveys.  

Moreover, the number of non-voters has increased despite a drop in the percentage of former PN voters now intent on not voting. This was compensated by an increase in the number of non-voters among past Labour voters.

PN recovering among middle-aged respondents

The survey shows both the PN and PL registering heavy losses with the 18-to 34-age cohort. In this bracket nearly one-fifth are intent on not voting in the next election. 

On the other hand, the PN has registered substantial gains in the 35-to-54 age group where its support had been weakest in previous surveys.

In this age group, the PN has cut Labour's lead from 17 points to 7 points while Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi trails Labour leader Joseph Muscat by just 2 points in the trust barometer. This could be an indication that the budget has left a greater impact in this age bracket. It could also reflect the impact of TV discussions which are more followed by this age group than by younger voters.

In fact, despite an increase in non-voters among younger respondents, the PL still leads the PN by 14 points among those aged between 18 and 34. This is a clear indication that despite its focus on the social media, the PN still faces a problem in communicating its message to younger voters.

While the PN still leads Labour among respondents with a post secondary education, Labour still enjoys a substantial lead among respondents with a secondary and primary level of education. In fact, older respondents with a higher education tend to remain loyal to the PN.

PN still losing one tenth of its voters

Although the PN has closed the gap, it is still losing 9.5% of its voters in the 2008 election to Labour. This means that over the past month, the number of PN voters migrating to Labour has been cut by nearly two points.

The PN has also managed to reduce the swing by attracting 2.6% of Labour voters in 2008, up by a point since last month. 

Thanks to this small migration from the PL to the PN and to a small decrease in the percentage of its voters drifting to Labour, the swing  between the two major parties has been reduced from 10 to 7 points.

Significantly, small cracks are starting to emerge in the Labour cohort of voters, with the number of Labour voters intent on not voting increasing from 0.5% to 3.3%. 

Yet, Labour still manages to retain a staggering 85% of its 2008 cohort of voters compared to the PN, which retains 67%. 

Moreover in an indication of the hard task the PN's new leadership tandem have ahead of them, Labour remains 5.6 points ahead of the PN if both parties were to retain their previous voters who are now undecided or intent on not voting. 

This effectively means that the PN cannot win the next election if it does not reduce the 9.5% hemorrhage to Labour while winning a majority of new voters. MaltaToday surveys since the 2009 MEP election have consistently shown 10% of past PN voters drifting to Labour. 

This could be an indication that a large number of these have already made up their mind.

AD only retains 63% of its past voters but compensates its losses to both major parties by attracting a small percentage of new voters and respondents who did not vote in the 2008 election. 

Less trust in leaders

The negative campaigns of both major parties which has seen billboards targeting the credibility of both leaders seem to be taking its toll on the trust enjoyed by both leaders. In fact, the percentage of respondents who trust neither of the two contenders has increased by 8 points in the past month. 

Moreover although Joseph Muscat remains more trusted than Lawrence Gonzi, the opposition leader has seen a greater dip in trust than the incumbent.

The level of distrust in both leaders is highest in the 18-to-34 year old age cohort where 29% trust neither Gonzi nor Muscat. Distrust in both leaders among the youngest age group has increased by a staggering 13 points since September. 

Gonzi enjoys the lowest levels of trust among the 18-to-34 year old age cohort and is most trusted by the 35-to-54 year old cohort.  

This is a clear reversal of the situation in October, when Gonzi was more trusted by younger and older respondents.

Although Muscat enjoys a strong 14-point lead among younger voters, over the past two months he has seen a 12-point drop in trust in this age group. But he managed to retain his advantage thanks to a 10-point drop in Gonzi's trust levels in the same age group.

Educated voters less inclined to vote

The survey shows the PN enjoying a strong 19-point lead among respondents who have attended university and a smaller 7-point lead among those with a post secondary education. 

But both educational cohorts include the highest number of respondents intent on not voting.   

Among those with a university education 43% either failed to reveal their voting intentions or are intent on not voting.

This is confirmed by the fact that the highest level of distrust in both political leaders is found among those with a university level of education. The university-educated are also the most inclined to vote for the Greens. This suggests that the more educated segment is dissatisfied by the current government but still does not trust the opposition. 

Compared to a survey conducted in September, Gonzi has seen his trust rating increasing among respondents with a post secondary education but falling among those with a university education.  On the other hand, Muscat has gained 3 points among those with a university level of education but still lags behind Gonzi. On the other hand, Muscat leads by a very high margin among respondents with a secondary level of education.


The survey was held between Monday 3 and Thursday 6 December. A total of 802 respondents were randomly chosen from telephone directories and contacted by telephone. Of these, 600 accepted to be interviewed. Results were weighed to reflect the age and sex balance of population. The survey has a margin of error of +/-4%.

@yan; the last 2 MT surveys before the 2008 elections actually showed the PN winning the elections.
in 2008, according to the polls, labour had to win with 12,000 votes
I predicted this sort of poll manipulations months ago and as the election gets nearer the gap will decrease further according to polls.This play with poll results happens every election. Polls from other media and from those commissioned through call centers will also show discrepancies. From first hand experience there were times when those commissioning a poll were not satisfied with the results and had the polls taken again until they had a result that would satisfy their client. This also happened in political polls.
Very qed tghid fenea: min jaf x'jigri! Il-Malti jghid: Min ighix bit-tama jmut bil-piena! Tick tock... Tick tock... Tick tock...