If an election were held tomorrow, the Labour Party would secure 46.8% of the vote, while the Nationalist Party would be left with 16.5%, according to a scientific survey conducted by Lovin Malta last week.
The Labour Party has stopped experiencing the ‘switcher’ effect where large numbers of Nationalists swing towards PL. However, massive chunks of former PN voters are now adamant that they will not vote.
In terms of sheer numbers, these figures could mean a vote gap of between 90,000 and 100,000 between the two parties and could easily translate to a two-thirds majority in Parliament. Last year, Labour earned 40,000 more votes than the Nationalist Party.
However, the survey must be read with caution since it is unprecedented in Malta for voters to shun an election in such large numbers. Moreover, the survey was conducted during a period of infighting within the PN and only a few days after the Egrant inquiry’s summary was published.
Lovin Malta’s survey, conducted in partnership with research company Esprimi, polled 1,100 people through a combination of online responses and telephone surveys, between Thursday and Friday last week (26th and 27th July).
The survey found that the portion of voters planning to vote PN was equal to those saying they would not vote (16.3%), while 12.1% said they did not know or refused to answer. Smaller parties accounted for 8.2% of the vote.
Taking a closer look at the intentions of PN voters, it is clear that the vast majority of uncertainty is coming from them. A whopping 28.9% of those who voted PN last year are now saying they would not vote, presumably because they do not support Adrian Delia as party leader. Another 17.5% said they did not know or refused to answer. Meanwhile, 15.2% said they would vote for one of the smaller parties and 2.8% would vote Labour.
From those who voted Labour last year, 92.4% have no doubt about doing the same if an election were held tomorrow. Only 5.3% said they would not vote or did not yet know, while 2% said they would now vote for PN.
Voting intentions by age group
The only glimmer of hope for PN seems to be that it is somehow managing to fare better among younger voters. If the vote were up to 16-24 year olds, PN would secure 31.8% of the vote.
But things get a lot worse with older voters. When it comes to 25-34 year olds, PN only secures 11.7% of the vote and when it comes to 35-44 year olds the figure stands at 14%. With 45-54 year olds PN is polling the lowest, at just 9.6%, while things get a little bit better in the higher age groups (13.7% for 55-64 year olds and 16.8% among the 65+ age segment).
Voting intentions by gender
A look at the gender profile of voters shows that PN is polling worse among women than men. Many more women would not vote (17.2%) or are undecided (13.8%) than would vote for the Nationalist Party (13.5%).
Voting intentions by education
And things don’t get any better for the PN when it comes to the education divide. Those who never went to school would give 71.4% of the vote to Labour and just 14.3% to PN. Meanwhile, those with tertiary education would give 35.3% of their vote to Labour and just 15.1% to PN.
Voting intentions by geography
When it comes to geographical spread, Labour polls first across all regions, except in Gozo and Comino where the largest portion of respondents (38.5%) said they would not vote. The rest said they would vote Labour (28.8%), PN (13.5%), don’t know (13.5%) and other parties (5.7%).
Geographically, PN performed best in the northern districts (21.2%) and worst in the southern regions where it polled just 10%.
More findings from Lovin Malta’s first scientific survey will be released in the coming days.