Mon, Jul 14, 2003 - Page 1 News List

DPP sees pan-blue support slipping

HUALIEN BY-ELECTION The DPP says a survey shows the popularity of the KMT-PFP candidate in the race is weakening, but critics questioned the accuracy of party polls

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

Premier Yu Shyi-kun's wife, Yang Pao-yu, left, stumps for the DPP candidate in the Hualien County commissioner by-election, You Ying-lung, center, at a market in Hualien yesterday. According to a DPP poll, You's chances in the race are improving.


The DPP released a poll yesterday showing that support for the pan-blue-backed candidate in the Hualien County commissioner by-election, Hsieh Shen-shan (謝深山), has slumped.

The poll showed the number of undecided voters has increased -- a move expected to favor DPP hopeful You Ying-lung (游盈隆)

DPP Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) made public the results showing that support for Hsieh had fallen 8 percent to 26 percent. Support for You stood at 22 percent, while candidate Wu Kuo-tung (吳國棟), a KMT member but not backed by the party, had 13.7 percent support.

Chang said the latest poll shows a sharp decline in Hsieh's support and a surge in the number of undecided voters.

According to the DPP, the poll revealed that Wu, a former Hualien County commissioner with support from the PFP grassroots, enjoys a high degree of invisible support.

"The election has turned into a complete three-way competition with each candidate being well-matched in strength," Chang said.

The blue camp has tried to position the election as a party-to-party contest with the DPP in a bid to marginalize the independent Wu. The DPP, meanwhile, wants to reduce the differences of strength between Hsieh and Wu so that You, a three-time candidate for the commissioner post, can cash in on the split in the opposition camp.

"We not only found the election has become a triangular race among three well-matched candidates, we also saw that 67.8 percent of the poll respondents recognized that Ilan, governed by the DPP, has better developments than Hualien, a sign that Hualien residents want a transition of power from the KMT to the DPP," Chang said.

Responding to the green camp's poll, Hsieh's spokesperson, Ho Hung-jung (何鴻榮), questioned the accuracy of the survey and said the poll was nothing but a campaign maneuver by the DPP.

"This kind of poll result from the DPP was not unexpected. Any poll done by political parties is usually just a reference tool for their internal adjustment," Ho said. "It's obvious that the DPP simply treated the poll as a campaign maneuver. There is no accuracy in this poll at all."

Ho said that all the other polls done by the media or pundits revealed that Hsieh still enjoys a lead in the race.

"The DPP would certainly want to see Wu having a steady rise of support and the distance between Hsieh and You shortened," Ho said.

Wu's campaign spokesperson, Chung Yi-wen (鍾逸文), also saw the poll as being partisan.

"We have to treat these poll results by political parties with skepticism. On the one hand, if we believe the KMT, Wu's support would only account for 8 percent instead of the 13 he has now. On the other hand, we are suspicious of the validity of the DPP's poll. If DPP polling was correct, You would have already won the past two Hualien County elections," Chung said.

"The KMT will not forget that, during the 2000 presidential campaign, Lien Chan's (連戰) poll results were far off the actual number of votes he received," Chung said.

Although Wu is running independently and has few political resources, he believes he enjoys a high degree of invisible support, Chung said.

"Do not underestimate the wisdom of the Hualien voters," he said.

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