Many had feared and to a certain extent still do, the impacts brought about by the departure of former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. Within this country, Joseph Muscat had achieved a certain degree of cult status and many were sad to see him go. His replacement, Robert Abela, does seem to have hit the ground running however.
His initial decisions seem to indicate a zero-tolerance policy for corruption and such ilk. Stands involving the appointment of a new police commissioner, the resignation of Justyne Caruana, the ban on removing flowers from Daphne Caruana Galizia’s memorial and the complete disassociation with Keith Schembri have won him several points, especially with Nationalist party followers.
A MaltaToday survey shows that Robert Abela is indeed making impressive inroads. He scored a strong 62.5%, just a few weeks following his upscale to Prime Minister. This is significant because it is the highest rating achieved by any party leader. It also underscores the gap between the new incoming Prime Minister Robert Abela and leader of Opposition Adrian Delia, who scored a disappointing 13.5%. This is indeed, his worst rating in the past two years.
Robert Abela’s success is further underpinned by the fact that he surpasses his counterparty across both men and women, all age groups and also all regions. Robert Abela is leading significantly amongst younger voters, securing the trust of 64.6% of those aged between eighteen and thirty-five. Adrian Delia did not even manage to score ten percent with this demographic.
Robert Abela performs less well with those who are sixty-five and over. His trust rating with this demographic is almost 60%. Ironically, Adrian Delia performs the best with this demographic.
In terms of region, Robert Abela performs the best in the South East. His lowest rating is registered in the Western region. Robert Abela also performed well in Gozo with a 62.3% rating. Let us keep in mind that Gozo was once a PN stronghold.
Based on these trust ratings, one can argue that Robert Abela managed to win the hearts and minds of the Maltese in just a few weeks. He also surpassed his predecessor Joseph Muscat, who managed to overcome significant political adversaries such as Lawrence Gonzi, Simon Busuttil and Adrian Delia.
The recent inroads made by Robert Abela have brought about further turmoil to an already split Nationalist party. This has led to fresh resignation calls and shouts for a new leadership structure within the Nationalist party. This was followed by the resignations of key individuals within their fold.
The results achieved by Robert Abela are indeed impressive. The country does seem to be returning to some much-needed stability. Things do look bright for Malta’s new Prime Minister.