Former prime minister Joseph Muscat is the preferred choice as Labour leader of over one-third of PL voters, a survey commissioned by Times of Malta has found.

Muscat, who stepped down in disgrace two years ago, gets the nod from 36.3 per cent of survey respondents who said they would vote Labour if an election were held tomorrow.

His successor, Robert Abela enjoys the support of just under half of PL voters, at 47.1 per cent.

The remaining said they do not know which leader they prefer, while only 1.1 per cent claimed to prefer neither.

Muscat started to edge back into the political scene after a police search of his house in January over suspected corruption in the hospitals deal.

The former prime minister spent a whole day campaigning for a few Labour candidates last Saturday. He has, however, ruled out contesting the March general election himself.

Muscat told journalists on Saturday he would do “what is necessary” to help the Labour Party but dismissed questions about whether he will be attending any official PL events.

“My job is not to be in rallies but to be with the people, helping the Labour Party,” Muscat said.

Abela has so far refused to state whether he agrees with Muscat hitting the campaign trail for Labour candidates.

“The Labour Party’s campaign reflects the choice the people will make on March 26.

“The choice is between Bernard Grech and Robert Abela… those are the names people will have to choose from,” Abela told journalists yesterday when asked about Muscat’s election campaigning.

What about the PN?

On the opposition front, Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech enjoys the support of 71.8 per cent of people who said they would vote for the PN if a general election was held in the country tomorrow.

His predecessor, Adrian Delia, holds 14.1 per cent of the support as the PN’s preferred leader, whereas 7.1 per cent of respondents claimed they do not know who they prefer.

Another 7.1 per cent of PN voters said they prefer neither.

Delia was edged out of the leadership post by Grech in an October 2020 ballot sparked by internal dissent within the party.

According to the same survey, the Labour Party would win an election by some 44,500 votes if it were held tomorrow, though a fifth of the electorate remains non-committal.

A total of 56.2 per cent of the electorate would vote for Labour while 42.4 per cent would opt for the Nationalist Party, according to survey results by market research firm Esprimi.

Just 1.4 per cent said they will vote for the smaller parties in the March 26 general election.

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