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17 April 2014

Survey Malta Polls: The Maltese And Local Councils Elections 2006

 - Sunday, 19 March 2006, 00:00

March 2006: Survey Methodology

This survey was carried out by Malta Polls on behalf of TV programme 'Xarabank'. "The Maltese and Local Councils Elections 2006" was carried out between 9am and 8pm in the period between 14 and 16 March 2006. The survey questionnaires were administered by phone interviews and the fieldwork of this survey was done by the call-centre 'Dial-It'.

Sampling

Random sampling was used in this survey, whereby a representative sample of 300 respondents from the localities in which the local council elections were held this month (and who were eligible to vote) was earmarked as the sample size, and was selected from Maltacom's telephone directory. In total, 458 people were contacted for this survey, out of which 158 (or 34.5%) refused to participate.

The estimated margin of error based on a sample size of 600 is around +/- 4.5%.

Standard age cohorts were also included in the survey. The results for age groups and gender were weighed with the relevant clustering as resulting from the latest Demographic Review.

Malta Polls

Xarabank

Where's Everybody?

Valletta

Tel: 2124 9200

[email protected]

The Results

Local Council Elections voting

The respondents were asked whether they voted in the latest round of local councils elections held in March 2006. 73.9% of the sample said they did cast their vote, while 25.6% said they did not vote. 0.4% did not answer.

Reasons for not voting

Those respondents who said they did not cast their vote were asked for the reason why they did not vote. 30% said they are not interested in local councils, while 25% said they were sick. 10% said they did not vote so as to sound a protest bell against the government. 5% said they did not collect their voting document, and another 5% said they were not satisfied with the performance of their local council. A total of 11.7% mentioned other reasons that individually amount to less than 1% each.

Out of those who said they did not collect their voting document, some said they were not interested in voting while others said they had problems having the document delivered at their residence.

2003 General Election

Asked how they cast their vote in the last general election, 28.6% said they had voted PN, 27.4% MLP and 2.1% AD. 25.2% refused to answer this question, while 11.5% said they did not vote. 4.3% said they did not know how they voted, while 0.9% said they voted independent candidates.

A crosstabulation of 2003 voting patterns with the voting patterns in the March 2006 local council elections shows that the highest percentage (33%) of those who did not vote in the local council elections had in fact voted PN in 2003. This is significantly higher (13.3 percentage points) than the percentage of those who did not vote who had voted MLP in 2003 (20%).

Current voting patterns

Asked how they would vote if a general election was held today, 27.4% said they would vote MLP, 9.8% would not vote and 21.4% would vote PN. 15% said they were undecided, and 24.8% refused to answer this question. 1.3% said they would vote AD and 0.4% Independent candidates.

Compared to the data from the last survey carried out in November 2005 (soon after the 2006 Budget), the MLP kept its majority with a slight increase from 27% to 27.4%. The increase in the PN from 19.3% to 21.4% is probably the result of the fact that the percentage of respondents who said they would not vote went down from 21.3% in November 2005 to 9.8% in March 2006 (another reason could be that the sample was among Maltese who were eligible to vote in the latest round of local council elections, in localities that are generally pro-PN). On the other hand, those who refused to answer increased from 11.8% to 24.8%.

If one were to eliminate those who were undecided, those who said they would not vote and those who refused to answer, the 2006 results show that the absolute majority (54%) would vote for MLP, while 42% would vote PN. AD's vote would stand at 2.5%, and the Independent candidates' vote at 1.5%.

New Prime Minister

Asked whom they would want as the country's leader, 28.2% mentioned MLP leader Alfred Sant, while 23.5% said the current Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi. 21.8% refused to answer, and 18.4% said they were undecided. 6.8% said they would not trust the country in the hands of any of the political leaders, while 0.4% mentioned AD leader Harry Vassallo.

This is the first time that Alfred Sant topped Lawrence Gonzi. In fact, in previous surveys, Gonzi edged Sant by a few percentage points, whereas this time round the MLP leader is enjoying a lead of almost 5 percentage points over his political rival.

The country's main problem

Asked to identify the country's major problem, 19.7% mentioned the surcharge in the water and electricity bills, while 16.7% mentioned the cost of living. The next major problem is unemployment (15.8%), followed by the lack of cash flow (11.5%), a poor economy (5.6%), the environment/ waste (4.7%), the roads (3.8%) and taxes (1.7%). 11.1% mentioned reasons which individually amount to less than 1% each.

SUMMARY:

73.9% of the sample said they did cast their vote in the 2006 local councils elections, while 25.6% said they did not vote. 0.4% did not answer.

Those respondents who said they did not cast their vote were asked for the reason why they did not vote. 30% said they are not interested in local councils, while 25% said they were sick. 10% said they did not vote so as to sound a protest bell against the government. 5% said they did not collect their voting document, and another 5% said they were not satisfied with the performance of their local council. Out of those who said they did not collect their voting document, some said they were not interested in voting while others said they had problems having the document delivered at their residence.

In the 2003 general election, 28.6% said they had voted PN, 27.4% MLP and 2.1% AD. 25.2% refused to answer this question, while 11.5% said they did not vote. 4.3% said they did not know how they voted, while 0.9% said they voted independent candidates.

A crosstabulation of 2003 voting patterns with the voting patterns in the March 2006 local council elections shows that the highest percentage (33%) of those who did not vote in the local council elections had in fact voted PN in 2003. This is significantly higher (13.3 percentage points) than the percentage of those who did not vote who had voted MLP in 2003 (20%).

Asked how they would vote if a general election was held today, 27.4% said they would vote MLP, 9.8% would not vote and 21.4% would vote PN. 15% said they were undecided, and 24.8% refused to answer this question. 1.3% said they would vote AD and 0.4% Independent candidates.

Compared to the data from the last survey carried out in November 2005 (soon after the 2006 Budget), the MLP kept its majority with a slight increase from 27% to 27.4%. The increase in the PN from 19.3% to 21.4% is probably the result of the fact that the percentage of respondents who said they would not vote went down from 21.3% in November 2005 to 9.8% in March 2006 (another reason could be that the sample was among Maltese who were eligible to vote in the latest round of local council elections in localities that are generally pro-PN). On the other hand, those who refused to answer increased from 11.8% to 24.8%.

If one were to eliminate those who were undecided, those who said they would not vote and those who refused to answer, the 2006 results show that the absolute majority (54%) would vote for MLP, while 42% would vote PN. AD's vote would stand at 2.5%, and the Independent candidates' vote at 1.5%.

28.2% mentioned MLP leader Alfred Sant as the new Prime Minister, while 23.5% mentioned the Lawrence Gonzi. 21.8% refused to answer, and 18.4% said they were undecided. This is the first time that Alfred Sant topped Lawrence Gonzi. In fact, in previous surveys, Gonzi edged Sant by a few percentage points, whereas this time round the MLP leader is enjoying a lead of almost 5 percentage points over his political rival.

Asked to identify the country's major problem, 19.7% mentioned the surcharge in the water and electricity bills, while 16.7% mentioned the cost of living. The next major problem is unemployment (15.8%), followed by the lack of cash flow (11.5%), a poor economy (5.6%), the environment/ waste (4.7%), the roads (3.8%) and taxes (1.7%).

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