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44.7% will vote against spring hunting & 35.7% will vote in favour – Survey

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44.7% will vote against spring hunting & 35.7% will vote in favour - SurveyThe results of a Xarabank Opinion Poll conducted by Maltapolls on the Spring Hunting Referendum, show that 44.7% will vote against spring hunting, while only 35.7% will vote in favour of it.

44.7% will vote against spring hunting & 35.7% will vote in favour – Survey

The survey results, which were released on Friday evening during the Xarabank programmed, was based on a questionnaire asking four opinion questions and two demographic questions.

The study is based on a set of 300 telephone interviews, conducted by phoning the homes of interviewees, with a representative sample of 300 Maltese registered voters who have a telephone installed at home. Statistically, at 95% confidence level, the maximum sampling error for this type of study is estimated to be ± 5.7% (on issues with an expected 50/50 split points) To reduce the maximum 5.7% (as per above points) to a maximum of 3%, the sample size would have to be increased to 1100, which was not feasible for this kind of survey.

Xarabank said that the respondents were selected through a one-step probability sampling procedure based on the last issue of the Electoral Register, which was matched with the telephone directory for this purpose. Respondents who did not subscribe for a GO telephone service were looked up in the Hello directory.

“If still untraceable, these persons were replaced, yet matched by gender and age. A random seed was used to identify the first respondent points; subsequent respondents were selected at regular intervals from the Maltese Electoral Register. In order to minimise on the sampling error, the electoral register was divided into three equal parts and pre- stratification by gender and age was replicated three times over.”

A total of 1574 calls were made, with 300 of them accepting to be interviewed, interviews were carried out between Monday 26th and Saturday 31st January 2015. This methodology is used in other opinion surveys, both locally and abroad, Xarabank said.

All the results for the quantitative study have been analysed by the Gender of the respondent, as follows:

Respondents were asked the question: Do you agree with Hunting?: The majority of the Maltese population does not agree with hunting in general, with 45.0% voting yes and 55.0% voting not.

When one analyses the results by gender, it was found that females are much more opposed to hunting than males. One also notes that the majority of males are in favour of hunting. 38.0% of females were in favour of hunting with 62.0% against. 52.8% of males were in favour of hunting with 47.2% against.

Respondents were then asked if they were going to vote in the upcoming spring hunting referendum. The majority of respondents 78.0% have decided that they will be voting, 4.3% decided that they will not vote and 17.7% are still undecided.

When one analyses this result by gender, males are slightly more decided to vote than females. 6.8% more females than males are still undecided whether to vote or not. 75.3% of females would vote, 3.8% would not and 20.9% don’t know. This was against 81.0% of males would vote, 4.9% would not and 14.1% don’t know no.

Respondents were then asked How will you be voting in the spring hunting referendum? The relative majority 44.7% said that they would vote NO, for spring hunting to be banned. 35.7% will be voting YES to retain spring hunting whereas 14.3% are still undecided. To analyses these results, “one needs to keep in mind the margin or error of this study which means that both camps may have a slight edge on each other and that the result is still too close to call,” Xarabank said.

When the don’t knows above were correlated with the first question whether respondents agree with hunting, 55.8% of the don’t knows were against hunting in general as opposed to 44.2% which agreed with hunting.

When respondents are divided by gender, one finds that there is a relative majority in both genders against spring hunting, (females 46.2%, males 42.9%) Still the difference between the male vote is too close and within the margin of error. Females are much more undecided how to vote than males (17.7% females, 10.6% males).

The majority of PL voters 55.3% are in favour of retaining spring hunting while the majority of PN voters 78.2% are against spring hunting.

Xarabank said that the conclusions of the Survey are:

“55.0% of the population are against hunting in general. Yet when one bears in mind the margin of error of this study ±5.7%, one can also argue that the population is equally split on the issue.

When one reviews the result analysed by gender, the males are equally split on the issue but the majority of females are definitely against hunting.

78% of the population already decided that they will vote, whilst only 4.3% have already decided not to vote.

20.9% of females are still undecided if they are going to vote or not, compared to 14.1% of males.

The referendum result is still too close to call. Although it appears that those voting NO have an edge on those voting YES, the lead falls within the margin of error and both camps might have a slight advantage.

14.3% are still undecided how they will vote. 55.8% of these are against hunting in general as opposed to 44.2% which agree with hunting.

Males are equally divided on the way they will vote, but a relative majority of females are going to vote No. Still 17.7% of females are still undecided. 60.7% of these undecided females are against hunting whilst 39.3% are in favour of hunting.

The absolute majority of PN voters (78.2%) are going to vote NO with only 16.4% of PN voters voting YES.

55.3% of PL voters are going to vote YES with only 30.9% voting NO. Still 9.6% of PL voters are undecided. Of these 9.6% undecided PL voters, 77.8% are in favour of hunting whereas 22.2% are against.”

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