The Malta Independent 18 June 2024, Tuesday
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TMID Editorial: Floating voters on the rise

Saturday, 3 June 2023, 12:40 Last update: about 2 years ago

The percentage of voters who are not completely dedicated to one political party is on the rise, according to a State of the Nation survey published yesterday.

The results of the third edition of the annual survey of the State of the Nation, commissioned by the Office of the President, were presented on Friday at the Verdala Palace by statistician and lecturer at the University of Malta Vincent Marmarà.

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It found that the percentage of people who say they have always voted for the same party dropped from 82.7% in 2021, to 67.4% this year.

The percentage of people who said they will consider voting for a different party in the future is also on the rise. In 2021 this percentage stood at 27.3%, and this year stands at 38.7%. This is almost equal to the 39.3% who said no. 21.9% said they do not know. The survey found that the younger the age group, the more they say that they would vote for different parties. The 16-25 age bracket, for instance, saw 63.3% say that they would consider voting for a different party in the future, whereas only 19.4% in the 66+ age bracket said they would.

The statistics show that the younger generations are more likely not to be as tied down to a political party as the older generations are.

It is extremely important for any country to have a strong section of society who vote according to what is going on at that time, and who are not completely dedicated to a single political party. Being blinded by too much political loyalty is damaging as that would mean that, no matter what a party does, it would retain support regardless of any damaging effects.

The fact that more and more people are open to voting for different parties means that they are more likely to hold political parties to account.

Another  statistic shows that the vast majority of respondents – 78.8% – said that they identify with a political party because the party agrees with their ideas. 21.2%, however, said that they identify with a political party because they form their ideas according to the political party they identify with. This is up from the 10% in 2021.

Another worrying statistic which emerged in the survey is the rising percentage of those who do not believe Maltese politics is important for them.

The percentage who answered ‘not at all’ when asked how important Maltese politics is for them stood at 12.9% in 2021, but this rose to 26.9% in 2023. This rise is concerning as politics has an effect on all our lives. Policies created by government for instance guide business decisions, which obviously affects employees. Different political ideas on a subject help fix issues which could be found in proposed legislation. Allegations of corruption, if proved true, could mean money was taken from the people. While the majority (37.4%) still say politics is very important, the rising aforementioned trend is something that must be tackled.

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