Political Barometer September 2023


Article byIDEA Research TeamPublished on Sat Sep 30 20236 minute read


Executive Summary

In its first iteration of deep political poll analysis, MaltaSurvey together with The Malta Independent carried out research to identify the current state of political sentiment. The findings of the survey include the following:

  • The survey was carried out between the 1st and the 8th of September 2023.
  • The sample amounted to 1,600 with 2.5% margin of error at a 95% confidence level. Analysis on smaller demographics and sub-groups have a larger margin of error due to the decrease in size.
  • The general outcome of the survey shows that here is a very narrow gap between the potential votes allocated to parties if an election were to be held tomorrow, putting the PN in a majority of 0.4% to the PL. However, there are 15.8% who claimed that they will not vote and 4.4% who stated that they are undecided. This makes the current scenario very fluid and the current wafer-thin majority can go to either party with 4 years left to the next general election.
  • When compared to the turnout in 2022, there is a rough increase of people who are considering not voting.
  • The PN has performed better in retaining its voters from 2022 when compared to the PL. The PL has highly reduced its significant gap achieved in the 2022 general election results. The main source of this gap is its voters converting to non-voters, followed by full PN defectors.
  • The PL keeps its majority in the Southern District and Southern Harbour. The PN keeps its majority in the Northern District and Northern Harbour and gains a majority in Gozo and the Western District.
  • Dr. Robert Abela has a majority of leadership trust with an 8.9% gap to Dr. Bernard Grech. Almost a third of the participants do not trust any leader at this point in time.
  • People who would vote for the PL were an election to be held tomorrow show very high loyalty to the party leader Dr. Abela at 96.4%; Abela’s other trust in leadership comes from people who are current non-voters or undecided. Grech has less of a trust base within PN voters at 75%. Gauci has a higher retention of ADPD voters than Grech at 90%.
  • Even though the PL only has a current majority in the southern regions, Abela has a majority in leadership trust in all regions except the northern areas, where Grech has a majority.
  • Across the participants, there is a high show of dissatisfaction in the current government and opposition.
  • Dr. Chris Fearne is considered as the highest-performing minister by a highly significant margin when compared to his ministerial colleagues.


Data Gathering & Analysis

This online survey was carried out between the 1st and 8th of September 2023. Online advertisements were shown on social media platforms and all participants opted to take part voluntarily. Data gathering was administered by MaltaSurvey.com without input from The Malta Independent to prevent any potential reader bias.

Submissions were gathered through MaltaSurvey.com’s proprietary platform and full anonymity of the sample base was ensured. Analysis was done using data science tools including Python, Julia, SPSS and Jupyter Notebooks.

Margin of Error

As of April 11 2022, Malta’s population of people aged 16 years and over stood at 447,456. With a sample size of 1,600, the findings mentioned below has a margin of error of 2.5% at a 95% confidence level. Specific sub-divisions by demographics and/or specific cohorts have significantly larger margins of error.


Demographic Analysis of the Sample Population

The sample consists of 1,600 participants composed of 51.8% females and 48.2% males with the below distribution of age groups. This, coupled with the distribution of regions shows that the sample is a similar representation of the population of the Maltese islands.

Distribution of Age and Gender

Distribution of Regions

The distribution of the sample’s highest education levels also reflects the proportions produced by the National Statistics Office’s findings.

Distribution of highest level of education

2022 Vote Analysis of the Sample Population

A final point of confirmation to prove the validity of the sample is the comparison of what the participants voted for during the general election that took place in March 2022. Below, one can find a comparison of the vote distribution as per the Malta Electoral Commission with the distribution of what the sample voted for during 2022.

Comparison between the 2022 election result and the sample vote in the 2022 general election

With the exception of a higher proportion who voted for the Labour Party during 2022 and the invalid option not being available in this survey, the result of the sample distribution is within 1% of the 2022 General Election result.

Assessing current polls

The major two questions of this survey were the following:

  • If a general election took place tomorrow, what party would you vote for?
  • What party leader do you trust the most?

The participants had the following options when making a choice of the parties that they would vote for:

  1. Any of the major three parties (PL, PN, ADPD)
  2. An independent candidate or small party
  3. The choice not to vote
  4. The choice of uncertainty at this point in time

The result of what party the sample would vote for if a general election were to be held tomorrow is as follows.


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The goal is to do our best to transform your findings into a series of recommendations and actions to be done. By understanding people better, we can do our part in giving context to the events occurring around us.