Thu, Dec 25, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Ma’s disapproval rating hits record high

SINKING PERFORMANCE:The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and its former chairman saw public frustration pummel their approval ratings in the latest public opinion poll

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou, right, bowed during a news conference with party officials after the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) was defeated in the nine-in-one elections in Taipei November 29. More than three-quarters of the public disapproved of Ma’s performance almost a month after the elections, overwhelming his approval rating of 14.2 percent, a survey showed yesterday.

Photo: Reuters

More than three-quarters of the public disapproved of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) performance almost a month after the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 29, overwhelming his approval rating of 14.2 percent, a survey by Taiwan Brain Trust showed yesterday.

The think tank said that prior to the student-led Sunflower movement in March and April, the president’s disapproval rating stood at 70.9 percent, as opposed to an approval rating of 20.9 percent.

In the latest survey, Ma’s disapproval rating rose further to a record high of 76.2 percent, while his approval rating dipped to a record low, research department director Li Ming-juinn (李明峻) said.

“It is worth mentioning that 57.7 percent of respondents affiliated with the pan-blue camp were dissatisfied with Ma,” Li said at a news conference.

The survey was conducted from Thursday to Saturday last week to gauge whether the elections — which saw the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) win control of 13 of the nation’s 22 cities and counties, up from six in the previous election, while the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) saw its hold drop from 15 to six — reflected changes in the nation’s political landscape.

The survey showed general dissatisfaction with a much-touted Cabinet change: About 58 percent of respondents found the new Cabinet, led by former vice premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) — with just three new appointments — unsatisfactory, against 13.5 percent expressing satisfaction.

Li said that despite Ma stepping down as KMT chairman and former premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) resigning to “take political responsibility” for the party’s crashing electoral defeat, they failed to stem an increase in public disapproval of the party.

The KMT’s disapproval rating surged to 80 percent from 63.6 percent in June, while its approval rating slid to 11 percent after the elections from 23.6 percent in August.

Contrary to the KMT’s trend, approval ratings for the DPP recorded a continuous increase, from 24.9 percent in June to a record high of 46.2 percent after the elections, while its disapproval rating dropped from 55.6 percent in August to a record low of 35.4 percent in the latest poll.

More than 75 percent of the public agreed on the “high likelihood” that the DPP would regain power in the 2016 presidential election, as it continues to lead the KMT in preferences for political parties, the poll showed.

On a multiple-choice question regarding potential reasons the KMT lost the elections, 87.3 percent cited “below-par governance by the KMT central government,” 36.7 percent blamed it on the KMT candidates themselves and 17.5 percent attributed it to the DPP being a better party.

The survey showed that the DPP has continued to enjoy a higher degree of preference than the KMT since it first overtook the KMT in that rating in October.

Among the four major political parties, 32.7 percent of respondents preferred the DPP, 15.7 percent the KMT, 5.7 percent the People First Party and 3.4 percent the Taiwan Solidarity Union, the survey showed.

The percentage of the public who saw the KMT as the “most-disfavored” political party rose from 34.9 percent in January to 45.8 percent in the latest survey, the think tank said, adding that the DPP was considered most-favored by 32.7 percent, up from 26.8 percent during the same period.

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