Almost a fifth of Labour voters, and the vast majority of the general voting population, believe the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi are corrupt, according to a scientific survey by Lovin Malta.
Schembri and Mizzi are perceived to be corrupt by more than 57% of the electorate.
Among those who voted Labour in 2017, 19.2% believe Schembri is corrupt while 19.4% believe the same about Konrad Mizzi. On the other hand, only 6.5% of PL voters doubt Joseph Muscat’s integrity, while another 23.3% for Schembri, 19.8% for Mizzi and 5.7% for Muscat said they were unsure.
When it comes to PN voters in 2017, the verdict is almost unanimous: 97.2% of PN voters believe Schembri is corrupt and 96.6% think the same about Mizzi. There is slightly less unanimity about Muscat, who is labelled corrupt by 87.4%, with 10.6% of PN voters saying they are unsure.
The Lovin Malta survey was conducted among 1,100 respondents by research company Esprimi in the wake of the Egrant inquiry which cleared the Prime Minister and his wife of claims they owned a company in Panama. Both Schembri and Mizzi were named in the Panama Papers due to their secret ownership of company structures in Panama but were never made to step down from their posts. Magisterial inquiries into further corruption allegations are still ongoing.
Schembri and Mizzi scored worst among those with post-secondary and tertiary education as well as in the age groups where people are most likely to have received such an education. In the age cohort 25-34, for example, Mizzi and Schembri were deemed to be corrupt by 36.7% and 35.6% of PL voters respectively.
Among those who voted Labour in 2013 but did not necessarily vote Labour in 2017, the perception of corruption is even higher, with 23.5% believing Schembri is corrupt, 23.3% believing Mizzi is corrupt and 9.3% believing the same about Muscat.
The survey also found that 50% of PN voters deem Nationalist leader Adrian Delia to be corrupt. When it comes to the general population, Muscat (44%) is perceived to be more corrupt than Delia (41%), but there is much more uncertainty about Delia (34%). And while the vast majority of suspicion about Muscat comes from voters of his opposing party, the same cannot be said for Delia, who breeds suspicion from within his own party.
Meanwhile, former PN leader Simon Busuttil is deemed to be corrupt by 36.5% of the population, 66.1% of PL voters and 4.6% of PN voters.