The Malta Independent 5 December 2023, Tuesday
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Malta Survey: Corruption ranked as a major concern by most respondents

Kevin Schembri Orland Tuesday, 26 September 2023, 07:30 Last update: about 3 months ago

Corruption was ranked as the highest concern among respondents of a survey, followed by migration and the cost of living.

Data obtained via MaltaSurvey shows the main concerns people living in Malta have.

With a sample size of 1,600, this is the first political survey to be carried out following an agreement signed by Standard Publications Limited and IDEA Intelligence, which administers The agreement is for the development of periodic national surveys on politics, current affairs and other subjects of public interest. A first survey on public sentiment during summer was published in August.


Standard Publications is the publisher of The Malta Independent on Sunday, The Malta Independent (daily), The Malta Business Weekly and

IDEA Intelligence is a data-driven business intelligence wing of the IDEA Group that aims to deliver thorough quantitative insights and information through sophisticated data.

This survey was carried out between 1 and 8 September, ending at 9am on the last day. The results may have been affected by the benefits fraud scandal, which broke on 3 September, while responses were being filed.

The first part of the survey, showing that if an election were to take place tomorrow, the Nationalist Party would receive 0.4% more votes than the Labour Party, and that Robert Abela is trusted more as a leader than Bernard Grech, was published in The Malta Independent on Sunday.

The second part, published in The Malta Independent yesterday, shows that Chris Fearne is seen as a top performing minister by almost 50% of respondents.

A question in the survey also addressed the top three concerns of the participants. A concern could only be selected once per participant and the choices were ranked such that a first choice given by a respondent has more weight than their second choice and their second choice has more weight than their second choice; choices are not equally weighted.

The issue of corruption was ranked as the highest ongoing concern when tallying up the first, second and third choices. This was followed by the issue of migration and the overall cost of living.

In terms of corruption, 33.1% marked it down as their first concern, 14.1`% marked it as their second and 6.4% marked it as their third.

25.3% marked migration as their first concern, 14.3% as their second and 11.5% as their third.

As for the cost of living, 15.4% labelled it as their first concern, 15.3% as their second and 23.6% as their third.

The environment scored fourth highest on the list of concerns, followed by traffic levels, health, education, crime, and then energy supply.


This online survey was carried out between the 1st and 8th of September 2023. The disability benefits scandal broke on the 3rd of September, as responses were being collected.

Online advertisements were shown on social media platforms and all participants opted to take part in the survey voluntarily. Data gathering was administered by without input from The Malta Independent to prevent any potential reader bias. Submissions were gathered through’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.

Whilst the sample is fully anonymous, demographic variables were utilised in the initial set of questions in order to keep control of the representativeness of the sample. The target population was people living in Malta who are at least 16 years of age. NSO publications were used to establish the required proportions of the sample by Gender, Age, Region and Education. After collecting the sample, the cases were weighted by the same four variables (Gender, Age, Region and Education) to ensure a close representation of the sample. In addition, past electoral performances were used in the weighting procedure.

The survey sample voter distribution reflected the voter distribution in the 2022 elections. For instance, 34.3% of the sample said they voted PN in 2022, where in the actual 2022 result the PN got 34.7% of the votes. The biggest percentage difference could be seen when it comes to the 2022 PL votes. In 2022, the Labour Party garnered 45.8% of the vote, whereas in the survey sample, 49.5% said they voted for the Labour Party. One must also keep in mind that while there were invalid votes in the actual election, there obviously wasn’t an option for this in the survey.

In the 2022 election, 14.3% of the voters chose not to exercise their right. In this survey, 14.1% of the participants said they did not vote.

The results have a 2.5% margin of error at a 95% confidence level. Specific sub-divisions by demographics and/or specific cohorts have significantly larger margins of error.

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