The vast majority of Maltese people - almost 83 per cent - have always voted for the same political party, a survey commissioned by President George Vella has revealed.
According to the results, 82.7 per cent have always voted for the same political party, with people from Southern Harbour areas - Cottonera, Fgura, Floriana, Luqa, Marsa, Paola, Santa Luċija, Tarxien, Valletta, Xgħajra and Żabbar - most likely to always support the same politicians.
Just 17.3 per cent have sometimes voted for a different party.
While more than 55 per cent of those surveyed discarded the possibility of voting for a different party in the future, just over 27 per cent of respondents said they would consider doing so. A further 17 per cent said they do not know whether they would vote for a different party.
Education and youth are both indicators of more floating voters, the survey found: those with higher levels of education were the most likely to vote for different parties, as were those aged between 16 and 25.
Voters in Northern Region localities - Mosta, Naxxar, Għargħur, Mġarr, Mellieħa and St Paul's Bay - are the most likely to say they are willing to vote for a different party.
Published on Friday and piloted by statistician Vincent Marmarà, the State of the Nation survey gives a snapshot of the Maltese society's beliefs and ideas. It is part of President Vella's efforts to look into ways in which Malta can improve its social and political relations and foster national unity.
The survey was conducted between April and May with 1,064 people over the age of 16 interviewed.
In comments to Times of Malta, Marmarà said it is "very interesting" that almost 83 per cent of the people have always voted for the same party and that 94 per cent believe in God.
"You also have half the nation who is not comfortable or only a little comfortable with the mixing of cultures," the statistician said.
Six other things the State of the Nation survey revealed
1. Belief in God
Although 93.5 per cent said they believe in God, only 60 per cent said religion is important to them. Women, the results show, were more likely to value religion than men. And the lower a person's education level, the more value to religion is given.
Over 20 per cent of the people in Gozo said religion is not important to them while eight per cent of those aged between 16 and 25 said they do not believe in God.
2. Most do not feel comfortable with multiculturalism
On the mixing of different cultures, the survey found that most people were not in favour of multiculturalism, with just 9.5 per cent saying they were comfortable with it.
Of all those surveyed, students were found to be the most comfortable with living in a society in which different cultures intermingle. Older generations, by contrast, were less open to mixing cultures.
3. Food and feasts most important traditions
Traditional Maltese food and village feasts were seen as the two most important aspects of Malta's traditions. The least popular tradition was found to be carnival while for the older generations, the Good Friday procession was deemed most significant.
4. Majority speak Maltese
The vast majority (82 per cent) of those surveyed said Maltese is their main language, while 16 per cent said they consider both Maltese and English as their primary language. Just 1.3 per cent said they only spoke English.
5. Most people get news from Facebook
Most (72.4 per cent) of those surveyed said they get their news from news websites' Facebook pages, followed by television. A further 41.6 per cent get their news fix from online news portals while just 3.2 per cent from newspapers. Radio followers were mostly aged over 66.
6. Single people are more likely to say they are happy
Marriage is not all that it's cracked up to be, judging by survey responses. Married respondents were less likely to say they felt they had succeeded in life when compared to single people (62.5 per cent vs 69.2 per cent).
Similarly, a higher share of single people said they were happy (65.1 per cent) than married respondents (63.6 per cent).