Sun, Nov 28, 2010 - Page 1 News List

2010 ELECTIONS: Voters confirm ‘status quo’

MORE OF THE SAME:The KMT kept its hold on Taipei City, Sinbei City and Greater Taichung, while Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung will stay in DPP control. However, the total vote-count was in the DPP’s favor

By Loa Iok-sin, Mo Yan-chih and Vincent Y. Chao  /  Staff Reporters

Supporters of re-elected Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin celebrate yesterday at his campaign headquarters in Taipei. The ruling party held on to -mayoral posts in three of five major cities after the elections yesterday, setting the stage for the 2012 presidential race. The placards refer to Hau.

PHOTO: NICKY LOH, REUTERS

Ending weeks of expectation and speculation, yesterday’s special municipality mayoral election only confirmed the status quo, with no major shift made in the five metropolitan cities in terms of the overall political landscape.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) retained hold of Taipei City, Taipei County (which will be renamed Sinbei City after its upgrade next month) and Greater Taichung, while the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) maintained control of Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung.

Statistically speaking, however, the total vote-count was in the DPP’s favor as the party garnered 3,772,373 votes — accounting for 49.9 percent of all votes cast in both mayoral and councilor elections in the five special municipalities against the KMT’s 3,369,052 votes — or 44.5 percent.

Compared with the 2008 presidential election during which President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) received more than 4.5 million votes in the five special municipalities, the KMT has lost more than 1 million votes in the areas this time, while the DPP gained more than 340,000 votes in the five municipalities, raising speculation that the KMT may be in crisis even though it won more mayoral seats.

According to the Central Election Commission (CEC), the overall turnout was approximately 71.7 percent for the mayoral elections, and about 71.7 percent for city council elections in the five special municipalities.

In each individual special municipality, the voter turnout was 70.6 percent in Taipei City, 71.2 percent in Taipei County, 73.1 percent in -Taichung, 71 percent in Tainan and 72.5 percent in Kaohsiung, CEC figures showed.

KMT Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) won re-election with 797,865 votes — or 55.6 percent of all votes against his DPP rival Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) 628,129 votes, while KMT Sinbei mayor-elect Eric Chu (朱立倫) garnered 1,115,536 votes — or 52.6 percent of the vote, beating DPP nominee Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) — who won 1,004,900 votes — by more than 110,000 votes.

Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) of the KMT claimed re-election, receiving 730,284 votes — or 51.12 percent of the vote, beating DPP candidate Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) — who received 698,358 votes — by only a little more than 30,000 votes.

In Greater Tainan, the DPP’s William Lai (賴清德), as widely expected, won a landslide victory over his KMT opponent, Kuo Tien-tsai (郭添財), by more than 200,000 votes.

In Greater Kaohsiung, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) of the DPP also scored an insurmountable lead over the KMT’s Huang Chao-shun’s (黃昭順) 319,171 votes and Kaohsiung County Commissioner Yang Chiu-hsing’s (楊秋興) 414,950 votes, who ran as an independent.

The CEC will hold a meeting to confirm the results for mayoral and city councilor elections on Friday and officially publicize the results that day. At a post-election press conference at KMT headquarters, KMT Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) acknowledged the number of overall votes the KMT received in the five cities, which fell behind the number of votes the DPP received, was a warning sign and he said the KMT would reflect upon the election result.

“Although we secured three cities in the elections, we fell behind the DPP when it comes to the overall votes. The KMT will take it as a warning sign and work harder to strive for better performance,” he said.

King blamed Kaohsiung County Commissioner Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興), who ran the election as an independent candidate after withdrawing from the DPP in August, as the reason behind the party’s disappointing turnout, since Yang successfully attracted some swing voters in the Kaohsiung election.

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