MaltaToday Survey | Labour 15 points ahead, as vote margin could grow to 45,000 over PN

With less than three weeks to go before the European election, MaltaToday polls show vote margin of over 45,000

Joseph Muscat is expected to preside over a historically unprecedented vote margin in the European elections
Joseph Muscat is expected to preside over a historically unprecedented vote margin in the European elections

The Labour Party leads the Nationalist Party by 15 points with 20 days to go until people vote in the European election, the latest MaltaToday survey shows.

The voting share for both major parties has increased since the April survey but for the first time in this election campaign Norman Lowell’s Imperium Europa has registered in the polls.

The PL scored 44.1%, more than two points higher on last month’s result, and the PN scored 29%, an increase of just under four points.

The results come on the back of a drop in those who say they will not vote, from 13.8% in April to 9.8% now. Similarly, those who are uncertain who to vote for, dropped from 17.3% last month to 12.4% in May. Although both parties have benefitted from these declines, it appears the PN edged Labour in attracting these voters.

The gap between the two major parties has returned back to the level it was in March and based on these results, the difference would translate into a vote margin of just over 45,000.

If the results are recalculated on the basis of declared voting intention by excluding those who said they will not vote and who are uncertain, the difference between the parties would translate into a gap of almost 60,000 votes.

Both calculations indicate that in terms of votes, the gap between the major parties may be larger than that in the last general election when the PL trumped the PN-PD coalition by 40,000 votes.

The survey has for the first-time captured support for Norman Lowell, with 1.2% saying they will vote for the Imperium Europa candidate.

The PD has failed to surpass the percentage point mark despite fielding its leader and MP, Godfrey Farrugia, at the last minute.

PL leads in all regions bar one

A regional analysis of the survey results shows that the PN leads the PL in the Northern region and trails everywhere else.

In the Northern region the PN registered 36.7% of the vote as opposed to the PL’s 31.2%. In Gozo the PL maintains its supremacy with 38.4% of the vote against the PN’s 26.8%.

The PL continues to draw significant strength from the two southern regions, where it approaches the 60% mark, a luxury the PN does not enjoy anywhere.

However, the PN has made inroads among young voters, eclipsing the PL in this category. Among those aged between 18 and 35, the PN registered 31.2% support, as opposed to the PL’s 24.9%. In all other age groups, the PL leads the PN by more than 22 points.

The PL retains a larger proportion of its 2017 voters than the PN, a result that has been consistent for months. However, both parties have managed to retain a stronger share of 2017 voters now when compared to the April survey results.

Of those who voted PL in the last general election, 83.6% said they will vote for the same party on 25 May, while 70.5% of PN voters say they will support their party in less than a month’s time. In April, the respective results stood at 77.5% for the PL and 61.1% for the PN.

PN leader Adrian Delia
PN leader Adrian Delia

Muscat emulates PL’s rise as Delia fails to capitalise on PN’s growth

Joseph Muscat’s trust rating in May has climbed back above the 50% mark, reflecting the Labour Party’s higher poll numbers.

The Prime Minister scores 51.7% in the May MaltaToday survey as he reverses the downward movement registered last month.

But while Muscat’s rise is also reflected in the PL’s fortunes, not the same can be said of Delia, who has remained static despite the PN’s upward movement.

The Opposition leader’s trust rating stands at 21.2%, a slight drop from 21.6% in April.

Delia is hampered by the lack of trust shown in him by his own voters. Only 52% of those who voted for the PN in 2017 say they trust Delia.

This contrasts with Muscat’s high approval rating among those who voted PL in 2017. The Prime Minister receives the trust of 93.1% of PL voters.

But more significant is the fact that Muscat also enjoys the trust of 6.8% of PN voters, something that Delia does not benefit from in reverse.

Muscat trumps Delia among women and men, across all age groups and all regions.

Among those aged 18-35, Delia flounders despite the PN managing to get ahead of the PL as a party.

The same holds true for the Northern region, where Delia does not emulate his party’s success to get ahead of the PL.

These results can probably explain why the PN is trying to lead a campaign that is pushing the candidates rather than the leader.

On the flipside, the PL is trying to capitalise on Muscat’s high trust rating by presenting the European election as a choice between the Prime Minister and Delia.

Methodology

The survey was carried out between Thursday 25 April and Friday 3 May. 602 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%.

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