Trust in Mus­cat on the rise, Busut­til dips slightly

Malta Independent - - NEWS - He­lena Grech

Prime Min­is­ter Joseph Mus­cat re­mains the most trusted po­lit­i­cal leader, the Novem­ber edi­tion of the iSur­vey com­mis­sioned by The Malta In­de­pen­dent on Sun­day shows.

As in the pre­vi­ous edi­tions of the iSur­vey, re­spon­dents were asked to state how much they trusted each party leader on a scale of one to 10 – with 10 sig­ni­fy­ing the great­est level of trust, and one the low­est.

Over­all, Dr Mus­cat re­ceived a trust rat­ing of 5.9 out of a max­i­mum of 10 – an in­crease of 0.2 dec­i­mal points from the pre­vi­ous sur­vey in April 2016. Dr Busut­til on the other hand re­ceived an over­all av­er­age score of 4.8, a de­crease of 0.1 dec­i­mal points. The dif­fer­ence be­tween the two lead­ers has grown to 1.1 points, from a dif­fer­ence of 0.8 points from the April edi­tion.

Pre­vi­ous sur­veys be­tween De­cem­ber 2014 and April 2016 saw Dr Mus­cat con­tin­u­ously lose ground on his over­all trust rat­ings, rang­ing from 6.55 to 5.70. He has, how­ever, man­aged to turn this around with a slight in­crease from April till now. At no point has Dr Busut­til over­taken the Prime Min­is­ter in terms of per­sonal trust rat­ings.

Con­versely, while Dr Busut­til has con­sis­tently gained in trust score be­tween the De­cem­ber 2014 and April 2016 sur­veys – from a score of 4.54 to 4.9 – this edi­tion has seen him lose out, al­beit marginally, for the first time since De­cem­ber 2014.

PN and PL voter split

When break­ing down the trust scored based on how peo­ple voted in the 2013 gen­eral elec­tion, it was found that PL vot­ers over­whelm­ingly trust their party leader Dr Mus­cat far more than PN vot­ers trust Dr Busut­til. PL vot­ers awarded Prime Min­is­ter Mus­cat a trust score of 8.18 out of a max­i­mum of 10, in­di­cat­ing high trust in the way party loy­al­ists view their leader. It should be noted how­ever that this is not the high­est trust

score Dr Mus­cat has re­ceived from PL vot­ers; in the April 2015 iSur­vey, he was given a trust score of 8.71.

Dr Busut­til has lost the most ground among PN vot­ers, be­ing awarded a score of just 5.27 out of a max­i­mum of 10. Com­pared to the trust score he re­ceived by PN vot­ers in April 2016, at 7.2, he lost two whole points. The Opposition Leader had been mak­ing sig­nif­i­cant gains be­tween De­cem­ber 2014 and April 2016, un­til this U-turn.

In view of the govern­ment scan­dals that erupted be­tween De­cem­ber 2014 and April 2016, most no­tably the Panama Pa­pers scan­dal, it could be that Dr Busut­til was be­ing car­ried by the govern­ment’s blun­ders.

It was also found that PL vot­ers place more trust in the Opposition leader than PN vot­ers place trust in the Prime Min­is­ter. PL vot­ers gave Dr Busut­til a trust score of 3.33. PN

vot­ers on the other hand, gave Dr Mus­cat a trust score of 2.59. This shows that PN vot­ers are over­all less trust­ing of ei­ther leader, and have great reser­va­tions on the trust­wor­thi­ness of Dr Mus­cat.

Joseph Mus­cat v Si­mon Busut­til

In ad­di­tion to be­ing asked to rate the Prime Min­is­ter and Opposition Leader sep­a­rately, re­spon­dents were also asked: Which party leader do you trust the most?

Over­all, 45.1% chose Prime Min­is­ter Mus­cat, 28.5% chose Dr Busut­til, and 23.1% said ‘nei­ther’, while 3.2% re­fused to an­swer the ques­tion. The dif­fer­ence be­tween Dr Mus­cat and Dr Busut­til has reached a stag­ger­ing 16.6 per­cent­age points, com­pared with a dif­fer­ence of 9.7 per­cent­age points in the April 2016 iSur­vey.

It must be noted how­ever that

prior to the 2016 iSur­vey, the April 2015 and De­cem­ber 2014 all reg­is­tered Dr Mus­cat ahead of Dr Busut­til by over 20 per­cent­age points.

Of those who voted PL in the 2013 gen­eral elec­tion, 83.2% (from 80.5% in April 2016) chose Dr Mus­cat, 6% (from 3.7% in April 2016) chose Dr Busut­til, 9.7% (from 14.5% in April 2016) chose ‘nei­ther’ and 1% re­fused to an­swer.

Of those who voted PN in the 2013 gen­eral elec­tion, 10% (from 4.2% in April 2016) chose Dr Mus­cat, 67.6% (from 77% in April 2016) chose Dr Busut­til, 22.3% (from 16.8% in April 2016) chose ‘nei­ther’ and none re­fused to an­swer the ques­tion.

How do new vot­ers view Joseph Mus­cat v Si­mon Busut­til?

Those who were not el­i­gi­ble to vote in the last gen­eral elec­tion, when asked to choose their pre­ferred leader, 27.3% chose Dr Mus­cat,

31.8% chose Dr Busut­til, 36.4% said ‘nei­ther one’, and 4.5% re­fused to an­swer the ques­tion.

No dis­cern­able pat­tern can be iden­ti­fied, due to the rel­a­tively sim­i­lar split be­tween both lead­ers and the pro­por­tion that chose ‘nei­ther’ as their re­sponse.

In ad­di­tion to this, there was the split of how men and women re­sponded also on sim­i­lar lines, with 45% of men choos­ing the Prime Min­is­ter, 25.7% chose Dr Busut­til and 25.2% nei­ther one.

42.5% of women choseDr Mus­cat, 31.3% chose the Opposition leader, and 21.1% said nei­ther one.

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 info from the iSur­vey will be dis­closed through­out the week.

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