A poll released yesterday showed that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) continues to lead in the presidential race.
Tsai leads with 48.1 percent support, while Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Eric Chu (朱立倫) is in a distant second place with 16.3 percent support and People First Party (PFP) presidential candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜) has 10.4 percent support, according to the poll, which was commissioned by Taiwan Thinktank and conducted by Trend Survey and Research.
The results suggest that Chu’s replacement of Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) as the KMT’s presidential candidate has had little effect on the race, and that Tsai has maintained her hefty lead.
Voters appeared to strongly disapprove of Chu’s decision to run in the presidential election without first resigning from his post as New Taipei City mayor, as the poll showed that 63.5 percent of respondents said that Chu should quit as mayor, and 24.3 percent said he should not.
However, the poll also showed that 47.2 percent of respondents said that Chu’s candidacy would help the KMT in the legislative elections, while 40.1 percent said it would not.
The poll showed that if Soong were to drop out of the presidential campaign, Tsai’s support would increase to 50.9 percent, while Chu’s support would increase to 20 percent.
A cross-analysis of the polling results to investigate the “dump-save” effect for the Jan. 16 vote suggested that the effect is weaker for next year’s election than its historic norm.
The poll showed that if voters are convinced the candidate they support has no chance of winning, 34.3 percent said that they would forgo voting altogether, and 47 percent said they would vote for the candidate they favored anyway.
The poll showed that 69.3 percent of respondents supported legislative candidates who supported changing the law to regulate party assets, while 16.4 percent disapproved.
“In next year’s elections, the pan-green camp is highly likely to gain a majority in the legislature, and dealing with the KMT’s assets by passing a draft political party act would become an important issue,” said Steve Wang (王思為), an assistant professor at Nanhua University’s Institute of European Studies.
The poll also showed that DPP legislative candidates have the highest support rate at 35 percent, while their KMT counterparts trailed with 19 percent. Among third-party candidates, the New Power Party commanded the most support with 4 percent, followed by the PFP’s 2.4 percent approval, independent candidates’ 2 percent, Taiwan Solidarity Union’s 1 percent and the Green Party-Social Democratic Party Alliance’s 0.9 percent, the poll showed.
Republic Party candidates had a 0.8 percent approval rate, while the New Party and Free Taiwan Party both had a 0.1 percent approval, the poll showed.
The poll collected 1,071 effective samples from people aged 20 or older and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
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