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Malta Election Watch – One tale of two surveys

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The Labour Party has a 23% and 24% lead according to two surveys published on Sunday.

The Labour Party has a 23% lead over the Nationalist Party, according to an EMCS poll commissioned and published by Times of Malta.  The MaltaToday survey shows that support for the Labour Party, is 45.9% which is at its lowest level since January. The gap between the two major parties stood at 24 points.

According to the EMCS/TIMES survey, 38% would vote for the PL if an election was held tomorrow, more than double the 15% who say they would vote for the PN.  Meanwhile, 37% said they do not know who they would vote for, and 10% say they will not vote.

The EMCS survey was conducted, between June 9 and June 18 among 376 respondents. The MaltaTodaysurvey was done between June 12 and June 18 among 653 respondents. Both have a 5% margin of error.

MaltaToday’s Kurt Sansone’s commentary on the survey state that the results suggest that in its third year of government, despite registering a level of disgruntlement, the PL has retained a strong support base. Although the survey did not indicate the reasons for this slip, it indicates that this could be linked to the fact that it was held after the government gave in to pressure and allowed the disembarkation of more than 400 mi- grants kept in detention on ships outside territorial waters.

Leaders Trust Barometer

The EMCS/Times survey found that Prime Minister Robert Abela is trusted four times more than opposition leader Adrian Delia. Just under half of all respondents, 45%, said they trust Abela, while only 11% trust the Nationalist Party leader. A total of 30% said that they trust neither of the two.

The MaltaToday survey showed that Robert Abela’s trust, is eight points less than the last trust rating polled, in April at the height of the (57.5%) and his lowest among coronavirus pandem, since his election in January despite still running at 54.5%.  Delia’s trust rating ran at 17.8%, almost 37 points behind Abela.

PN Leadership

The EMCS survey also asked respondents who they felt should be the next leader of the PN.  Lawyer Bernard Grech was the most popular choice, with 14%, followed by another lawyer Joe Giglio (11%), then MEP Roberta Metsola at 9%. Just 7% said they would want Adrian Delia to stay on.

PL Leadership

As for the Labour Party, The Times / EMCS survey shows that 42% believe Robert Abela is the ideal candidate to lead the party. His rival in this year’s leadership contest, Chris Fearne, got 19% backing. A total of 7% would prefer MEP Miriam Dalli and just 1% said they wanted Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg.

Election now?

The Maltese do not appear keen on an imminent election.  Asked when they thought the next election should be held, a total of 78% believe the government should see its term through to 2022. Just 3% felt a general election should be held this year, with 4% saying it should be called for some time next year.

CiConsulta Election watch : The latest revelations on the 17-Black – Montenegro Scandal, which implicates the Abela’s predecessor Joseph Muscat, Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri, amongst others plus ongoing revelations in the investigations and inquiry on Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder will probably erode trust in the Labour Party, but won’t shift any of that in the PN.

With two political surveys confirming the trends so far, given that the end-result, for now, is clearly in favour of the Labour Party, the decision on whether an election is held soon (latest October 2020) or at the end of term (2022) is to be weighted against the ‘economic’ impact of an electoral campaign and  possible further slow-down during the the Covid-19 recovery period, which might be a prolonged one.


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