Majority want Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri sacked
An absolute majority believe that Minister without Portofolio Konrad Mizzi and the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri should have been sacked over the Panama Papers revelations, the November edition of the iSurvey commissioned by The Malta Independent on Sunday shows.
The Panama Papers scandal refers to the discovery that Dr Mizzi and Mr Schembri owned companies in the financially secretive jurisdiction of Panama, sheltered by trusts in New Zealand.
The scandal received international attention due to the trove of leaked documents showing the dealings of Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm, and its world elite clients who used complicated financial instruments to conceal their wealth. While this does not necessary pertain to illegalities, it sparked a heated global debate on the ethics of such dealings by the world’s rich and famous.
Respondents were asked: Do you think the Prime Minister should have sacked Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri over the Panama Papers revelations? Overall, 56.6% of respondents believe so, 21.6% disagree, 20.7% are still undecided and 1.1% refused to answer the question.
In the April edition of the iSurvey, respondents were asked the above using two separate questions: Do you think the Prime Minister should have sacked Konrad Mizzi over the Panama Papers scandal, and another question with Keith Schembri’s name in place of Dr Mizzi’s.
Respondents were then marginally more lenient towards Mr Schembri than with Dr Mizzi, agreeing that they should be sacked – 54.2% and 49% respectively. With regard to Mr Schembri, 22.9% disagreed and 27%
said they were unsure. With regard to Dr Mizzi, 26.2% believed he should not have been sacked, and 18.7% could not decide either way.
Due to the question being merged in this edition of the iSurvey, it is not possible to compare like with like; however one can deduce that overall public sentiment views the Prime Minister’s decision to retain his two closest men unfavourably.
PL and PN voter split
Based on the way people voted in the 2013 general election, it was found that:
A proportion of 31.3% of PL voters believe that the pair should have been sacked, 43.3% disagree and 24.5% could not decide.
Of the PN voters, 89.1% believe they should have been sacked, 3.1% disagree, while 7.7% are unsure.
Unsurprisingly, far more PL voters than PN voters are undecided, with a difference of 16.8 percentage points.
Of those who were not eligible to vote in the last general election, 68.2% believe that the Prime Minister should have sacked his two closest aides, 9.1% disagree while 22.7% could not decide.
Overall, out of those aged 18-24, 69.4% believe they should have been fired, 16.7% disagree and 13.9% could not answer. The high proportion of those not eligible to vote in the last election and the 18-24 age cohort who disagree with the Prime Minister’s decision to keep Dr Mizzi and Mr Schembri are backed by the same category of respondents who strongly believe there is government corruption.
Out of those aged 25-34, 49.5% believe that Dr Mizzi and Mr Schembri should have been sacked, 22.9% disagree and
26.7% don’t know. In the 35-44 age group, slightly less believe that they should have been fired, at 47.9%, while 29.2% disagree and 18.8% are unsure.
Of those aged 45-54 and 55-64, 49% and 52.8% respectively agree with the question, 28.4% and 22.6% disagree, while 22.5% and 23.6% could not give an answer.
A proportion of 43.7% of the oldest age group, representing those aged 65+, believe the pair should have been fired, 30.3% disagree, with 25.2% being unsure. The oldest age group is the cohort that most agrees with the Prime Minister’s decision to retain the two.
When dividing the overall results by gender, it was found that more men believe the pair
should have been sacked than their female counterparts, at 59.2% and 54% respectively. They are relatively evenly split with the proportion who disagree, at 21.4% and 21.8% respectively, while more women than men remain unsure, at 22.6% and 18.9% respectively.
The November 2016 iSurvey – the sixth of its kind – was commissioned to Business Leaders Malta on behalf of The Malta Independent. A total of 600 respondents were used, representative of age, gender and spread of localities. With such a sample size, the margin of error is +/- 4%. More information on the iSurvey will be disclosed throughout the week.