MaltaToday Survey | MEPs who ‘defend Malta’s name’ is the most important election issue

Defending Malta’s name topped the list for both Labour and Nationalist voters... plausibly for different reasons

A MaltaToday survey asked respondents to highlight the single most important issue for them in the election that will be held on 25 May
A MaltaToday survey asked respondents to highlight the single most important issue for them in the election that will be held on 25 May

Labour and Nationalist party supporters agree that the most important issue for them in the European election is electing MEPs who will “defend Malta’s name”.

This emerges from a MaltaToday survey, which asked respondents to highlight the single most important issue for them in the election that will be held on 25 May.

Defending Malta’s name topped the list for both Labour and Nationalist voters and although the survey did not ask people to justify their choice, it is plausible both sets of voters would have given different reasons.

Of those who voted for the PL in the 2017 general election, 36.4% said electing MEPs willing to “defend Malta’s name” was the more important issue. This is in line with the party’s campaign message that casts Nationalist Party MEPs in a bad light for being critical of the Maltese government in the European Parliament.

Of those who voted for the Nationalist Party in 2017, 14.4% identified the same issue. The matter topped the list but was far less pronounced.

On the PN side, incumbent MEPs David Casa and Roberta Metsola have argued that their actions in the European Parliament were intended to defend the Maltese from government corruption.

The overall result shows that 26.2% of voters believe that electing MEPs who will defend Malta’s name is the most important issue. Another 20.9% could not identify a single issue.

A breakdown of the results by party allegiance shows that voters tend to be in synch with their party’s message.

The second most important issue for PL voters (11.9%) is “showing support for government” and the third (9.4%) is illegal immigration.

On the PN side, the second most important issue (13.2%) is electing “capable MEPs”, which falls in line with the party message focussing on the candidates.

Third in line for PN voters (11.5%) was “environmental destruction/the environment”.

The overall results show that the issue that ranked second was the election of “capable MEPs” (9.6%), followed by “environmental destruction/the environment” (6.9%).

The survey was conducted between 25 April and 3 May. The first part of the survey results on voting intentions, trust rating and MEP preference was published last Sunday.

European Parliament has high level of importance for Maltese voters

The general impression is that the European Parliament is insignificant for people but a MaltaToday survey found it enjoys a high level of importance for Maltese voters.

When asked to rank how important the EP was to them, 51.6% of respondents awarded the highest marks (between 8 and 10). Only 13.4% said the EP was of low (between 1 and 3) importance to them.

The strongest support was registered among those aged 36 and 50 with 60.7% saying the EP had a high level of importance for them.

Among the young, the relative majority indicated a medium level (between 4 and 7) of importance.

On a regional basis, the relative majority in Gozo indicated a medium level of importance, while the Northern region had the strongest majority in the high category (61.2%).

When analysed by political allegiance, the results show that PN voters attribute a higher level of importance to the EP than PL voters.

While 59% of PN voters indicated a high level of importance, the equivalent among PL voters stood at 49.4%.

A second question on the EP’s work revealed that 26.1% of people admitted having a low level of knowledge on the work of the EP. Only 16% said they had a high level of knowledge of the EP’s work.

Gozitans are the least knowledgeable, with 41.2% admitting a low level of knowledge on the European Parliament’s work.

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%. In those questions asking people to rank their choice on a scale from one to 10, the responses were grouped as follows: Low (1-3), Medium (4-7), High (8-10).

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