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GSD would govern with nine despite Alliance edging ahead in overall votes – Chronicle/GBC poll

Photos by Johnny Bugeja

The GSD would form government with nine MPs despite the GSLP/Liberals obtaining 1.6% more of the overall vote, according to a second poll by the Gibraltar Chronicle and GBC that echoed the results of a similar survey last week and underscored the likelihood of a knife-edge election on Thursday.

In the poll, the GSLP/Liberals secured 49.9% of the vote compared to the GSD with 48.3%. Independent Social Democrat Robert Vasquez obtained 1.8% of the votes in the poll.

But despite the higher vote share overall in the second poll – the GSLP/Liberals trailed by 0.53% in the first survey - the Alliance would again have only eight candidates in the top 17, compared to the GSD’s nine.

That 9/8 split was the same outcome as the first poll and could indicate a degree of split voting, suggesting the election could be won or lost not on the most voted candidates but on those with least support.

At the tail end of the field, the gap between candidates on either side of the main blocs is wafer thin, literally a handful of votes in the poll sample.

Two Alliance candidates, GSLP founder Sir Joe Bossano and Liberal candidate Vijay Daryanani, did not make the list of candidates in the top 17 in the poll, alongside GSD candidate Youssef El Hana and independent Mr Vasquez.

The same four also failed to make the top 17 in the first Chronicle/GBC poll.

As with the first poll, the results of the second survey presented a mixed bag among the top 17 candidates who would make it into Parliament.

That is a break from the pattern of 10 government MPs and seven Opposition MPs that has been the norm since Parliament was expanded after the 2006 Constitution.

As with the first poll, the second survey showed six GSLP/Liberal candidates in the top 10 compared to four GSD candidates.

The top 10 candidates were the same in both polls, although the order was different.

The first poll was topped by GSD leader Keith Azopardi in terms of individual votes, four votes ahead of GSLP leader Fabian Picardo, the nearest Alliance rival.

In the second poll, Mr Picardo topped the list in terms of individual votes, 18 votes ahead of Mr Azopardi, the nearest GSD candidate.

The running order for the second poll of those in the top 17 was Mr Picardo (GSLP/285); Mr Azopardi (GSD/267); Gemma Arias-Vasquez (GSLP/264); Dr Joseph Garcia (Liberal/258); Christian Santos (GSLP/257); Craig Sacarello (GSD/256); Damon Bossino (GSD/255); Roy Clinton (GSD/250); Nigel Feetham (GSLP/244); Dr John Cortes (GSLP/239); Edwin Reyes (GSD/232); Pat Orfila (GSLP/228); Giovanni Origo (GSD/225); Atrish Sanchez (GSD/220); Leslie Bruzon (Liberal/219); Joelle Ladislaus (GSD/213); and Daniella Tilbury (GSD/208).

The four remaining candidates who would not make Parliament according to the poll were Sir Joe Bossano (GSLP/202); Vijay Daryanani (Liberal/198); Youssef El Hana (GSD/193); and Robert Vasquez (Independent Social Democrat/88).

As in the first poll, a number of respondents did not use all 10 votes they could have recorded. In the first poll, some 18% of votes were unused. In the second poll, that figure was 12%.

The first Chronicle/GBC poll was conducted by staff from both media organisations and polled 600 people in total.

Polling was conducted face-to-face in different locations around town over four days at the start of last week and respondents were able to answer anonymously.

The second poll was conducted by Mediatel for the Chronicle and GBC, and was conducted in all voting districts over the past four days after the first poll was published.

It also sampled sentiment from 600 respondents who answered face to face and could do so anonymously.

A total of 54 respondents returned blank answers that were excluded from the result, as would happen in a general election.

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