The Nationalist Party can draw level with Labour if it manages to recover all its former voters who are now undecided, non-responsive, or intent on not voting, a MaltaToday survey confirms.
Last Sunday, MaltaToday revealed its latest survey had shown Labour leading by six points ahead of the PN.
A significant 8% of respondents consist of former PN voters in 2003 who are now either undecided, intent on not voting or unwilling to disclose their voting intentions in the next election.
Only 2% of the total number of respondents consist of former Labour voters who would not say who they are voting now.
All survey respondents were asked to state who they had voted for in the 2003 election.
If both parties manage to recover all of their former voters who are now uncommitted, the PN would increase its voting share to 32.4% while the MLP would only increase its share to 32.5%.
This is an indication that even if the PN manages to recoup all its former voters in 2003, it would still not surpass the MLP.
Yet if any of these voters shift to either of the two smaller parties or to the MLP, the PN would end up losing the elections.
When one considers that in the 2003 election membership in the European Union was the major issue, the PN would also have to recover pro-EU voters who do not normally identify with the party in government.
The survey shows that while 19% of all non-committed voters had voted for the Nationalist Party in 2003, only 5.4% claim to have voted for the MLP.
Non-committed voters include respondents who are still unresponsive, undecided or intend not to vote in the forthcoming election.
But when asked who they prefer as their next Prime Minister, non-committed voters were split with 11% favouring Alfred Sant and 12% favouring Lawrence Gonzi, with the overwhelming majority unable to express a choice.
The main concerns of non-committed voters are bread and butter issues like the cost of living (22%), low wages (7.7%) and lack of work (7%). The most significant non-material concerns of these voters are immigration (7%) and the environment (5%).
The survey was held between Monday 28 January and Wednesday 30 January. A total of 487 respondents were randomly chosen from the telephone directory with 300 accepting to be interviewed. The results of the survey were weighed according to the age and sex distribution of the population. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 5.7%.