Fri, Jun 11, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Pan-blues losing support, poll says

CHANGING ATTITUDES The post-election antics of the opposition parties have cost them dearly, according to a poll conducted by the think tank Taiwan Advocates

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

The two-month-long protest and resistance against the legitimacy of President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) re-election by the pan-blue alliance has resulted in the loss of public support, which would lead to a marked defeat of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) by Chen should the presidential election be held now, a public opinion survey released by Taiwan Advocates (群策會) said yesterday.

The think tank yesterday held a press conference to release the results of a public opinion poll investigating the public's attitudes toward the two-month long protest by the KMT and People First Party (PFP).

Its findings showed that the disapproval rate of the pan-blues' protests has increased to 67.8 percent from 53 percent.

The poll also found that if the election were held today, 60 percent of the public would vote for the Democratic Progressive Party-backed presidential ticket of Chen and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), while 40 percent of the voters would support the KMT-PFP alliance's Lien-James Soong (宋楚瑜) ticket.

The poll surveyed 1,025 eligible voters from June 3 to June 4 through telephone interviews. The margin of error is 3.06 percent.

Political commentator Chin Heng-wei (金恆煒) yesterday analyzed the results of poll, saying the poll revealed a major shift to the support base of the greens and the blues, from a 50-50 percent distribution at the time of the election to 60-40 percent.

Chin said the pan-blue alliance's strategy of holding post-election protests has proved to be a fiasco as few people agree with the appeal to hold a re-election.

But among the three parties in the blue camp, Chin said the protests have hurt the KMT the most, while the small, pro-unification New Party benefited the most.

In terms of support for political parties, the polls conducted after the March 20 election and the May 20 presidential inauguration showed that the DPP and its partner, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), have increased their public approval rating to 33.5 percent from the previous 23.4 percent.

Projecting that this political strength could be maintained until the year-end legislative elections, Chin said small parties such as the TSU and the New Party have a good chance of expanding their representation in the legislature.

Political analyst Yang Sen-hong (楊憲宏) yesterday said the 60-40 percent public support ratings for the pan-green and pan-blue camps don't necessarily reflect their likely performance in the December legislative elections.

Yang predicted that the DPP's strength might dwindle a little bit in the legislative poll.

As for the blue camp, Yang said the KMT could probably garner 50 seats, while the PFP and New Party could take 40 and 10 seats, respectively.

Yang also pointed out that the percentage of people who regard the election-eve assassination attempt on President Chen as fraud increased from 29.7 percent to 31 percent in the two month period between March 30 and May 20 -- a warning that the DPP should seriously consider speeding up the investigation into the assassination attempt.

Yang urged the DPP to set up a "truth-probe task force" to clear itself of the conspiracy theories.

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