How Accurate Have Maltese General Election Polls Been in the Past?

Taking a look at how the polls you’re following religiously fared in previous elections can help better inform the present situation. Presented below are the numbers I’ve been able to collect this morning solely with an internet connection.

Two out of the three polls are from MaltaToday, mainly due to their consistent polling since 2008, and an available internet archive. While I would have of liked to include numbers from other sources, MaltaToday is also the source of 9 out of the 15 points on my previous poll aggregate, so this is also a quality control check of sorts.

2008 General Election — MaltaToday

MaltaToday’s lead numbers in the 5 weeks prior to the 8th March 2008 election.

Unfortunately, the only numbers I could reliably find this far back was the lead. Labour started the 2008 election in front, before PN managed to spring back and emerge victorious with a razor thin margin.

4 days prior to the election, MT’s polled margin was 1.5% in favour of PN. The election result was just 1% off from that number, and just 1.3% off the average of that final month.

2013 General Election — Malta Today

MaltaToday polling for the 2013 General Election

Firstly, the only reason this table is possible is thanks to this fabulous article.

The above interpolated numbers after removing the usual “don’t knows” and “won’t vote”, show that MaltaToday was again able to accurately poll the PL result to within 1.5%, PN to within 3.1% and AD to within 1.6%, slightly overestimating the former while underestimating the two latter ones.

2013 General Election — MISCO

MISCO’s poll for Times of Malta 2 months prior to the election.

A full two months prior to the 2013 election, Times of Malta commissioned MISCO to conduct a poll on it’s behalf, accurately predicting all three parties’ showing in the subsequent elections to within less than 1%.

Other, non-general election decent showings…

Local surveys have also accurately predicted MEP elections and the divorce referendum. In fact, their only failure has probably been the Spring Hunting referendum, where MaltaToday, Xarabank and Misco all polled the No camp as leading.

The reasons for this miss though are accurately summed up in the final subsection of this article by MaltaToday’s head of statistics James Debono; suffice to say, these factors are unlikely to play a role in a general election.