Prime Minister Joseph Muscat Takes Hefty Knock In First Trust Survey Of The Year
But Opposition leader Adrian Delia still has a lot of catching up to do...
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s national trust rating has dipped significantly in the past month but is still more than double that enjoyed by Opposition leader Adrian Delia, MaltaToday’s first survey for 2018 has found.
When asked which leader they preferred, 41% of the newspaper’s respondents chose Joseph Muscat - similar figures to those registered before last year’s election, but a massive drop of nine points when compared to the survey carried out at the end of December. For the first time in many years, Muscat’s trust rating is lower than the strength of the Labour Party - which the survey indicates is the party-of-choice for 42% of the public.
As for Adrian Delia, his trust is no longer in embarrassing single digits but has increased by eight points to reach 15.4%.
Photo: MaltaToday's latest survey
The number of people who trust neither leader now stands at 15.2% (down by 9% from December) and the number of people who said they don’t know which leader they trust most now stands at 28.3% (up by 10% from December).
Surveys are notoriously difficult to interpret. This one could be interpreted as the people losing trust in the Prime Minister after a month jam-packed with controversies from the impending Vitals hospital transfer, to strikes by teachers and social workers and strike threats by pilots, doctors and nurses, to iGaming giant Betsson’s decision to shed 130 local employees, to intense international and EU scrutiny on Malta in the wake of Daphne Caruana Galizia's assassination.
Yet it could also be interpreted as surveys starting to smoothen out as more and more traditional PN voters start warming up to Delia following last summer’s bitter and divisive leadership race.
Partit Demokratiku is not making any waves amongst voters
What is certain is that Delia still has a lot of catching up to do. At 15.4%, his trust rating is much lower than it had ever been under his predecessor Simon Busuttil, whose ratings had fluctuated between 26.3% to 39.2% during his four years as PN leader.
The survey also shows the Labour Party still enjoys massive political dominance over the Nationalist Party and that an election tomorrow could see the PL return to power with a 63,000 vote majority - almost double its margins of victory in 2013 and 2017.
As for Malta’s third parties, they are failing to gain any traction whatsoever amongst disillusioned voters. Support for Alternattiva Demokratika currently stands at 1.2% while support for Partit Demokratiku is negligent despite its presence in Parliament. The survey indicates 17.4% of people are uncertain of their voting intentions while the remaining 10.3% have no intention of voting at all.