The Labour Party has increased its lead and opened a 12-point gap over the Nationalist Party, a survey commissioned by The Sunday Times has found.

The survey, conducted by market research firm Misco among a random sample of 500 respondents, shows Labour ahead with 34 per cent, followed by the PN at 22 per cent and Alternattiva Demokratika at one per cent.

When compared to the results of a similar survey in July, the Labour Party is up two percentage points while the PN and AD remained stationary.

More significant was the swing factor, which showed more PN voters had switched to Labour over the past three months. The percentage of voters who chose PN in the last election but will now vote Labour rose to 11 per cent from nine per cent in July.

Reversing a negative result among young voters aged 18 to 24, the Labour Party now enjoyed a lead across all age groups with a strong showing among those aged 45 to 54.

However, the survey registered a higher number of undecided voters and those who will not vote.

The undecided stood at 22 per cent, up from 19 per cent in July and those who said they would not vote increased by one point to reach eight per cent.

Respondents generally disapproved of the behaviour of Nationalist rebel MPs. The survey showed that 47 per cent do not approve of how Franco Debono is acting as opposed to 36 per cent in favour.

Meanwhile, 38 per cent approve of the way Dr Pullicino Orlando is acting against 42 per cent who do not. However, 20 per cent of respondents are undecided as to the independent MP’s behaviour.

Asked whether they were more likely to vote PN if Dr Gonzi stepped down after the election, 55 per cent of respondents said No while 21 per cent said Yes.

Three-quarters of respondents across the political divide want the Government to present the Budget but at the same time 57 per cent want the Prime Minister to call an immediate election.

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