Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Eric Chu’s (朱立倫) justification for replacing Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) as the party’s presidential candidate does not seem to hold water, as he appears to be even more unpopular than Hung among pan-blue supporters, a survey released yesterday showed.
The poll, conducted by Taiwan Indicators Survey Research on Monday and Tuesday, showed that nearly 57 percent of respondents feel unfavorably toward Chu, with only 24 percent saying they had a good impression of the KMT chairman.
That compares with a similar poll carried out by the research group last month — when Hung was still the KMT’s candidate — with 52 percent of respondents expressing their disfavor of the deputy legislative speaker, while 30 percent supported her.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
Chu, who has been hailed by most KMT members as the party’s only hope of continuing its reign, also received a higher disapproval rating of 22.1 percent among respondents identified as pan-blue than Hung, who garnered 17.3 percent in last month’s survey.
The results indicate that the aftermath of the KMT’s controversial move on Oct. 17 to force Hung out of the Jan. 16 presidential race and nominate Chu instead continues to take a toll on the chairman’s election prospects, the survey center said.
The results also undercut the KMT’s rationale behind removing Hung, which cited her consistently lackluster support ratings, which the party said could jeopardize its legislative majority, as well as her pro-unification policies, which it said strayed from the party’s cross-strait stance.
Asked who they plan to vote for in the presidential election, 47.1 percent of respondents said they would support Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), 16.4 percent said they favored Chu and 10.2 percent preferred People First Party (PFP) challenger James Soong (宋楚瑜). Thirteen percent said they would abstain from voting, while 13.4 percent declined to express an opinion.
It is worth noting that Chu’s support rating was close to that of Hung — at 15.6 percent in a survey released on Oct. 15 — before she was edged out by her own party.
As for their perception about major political parties in Taiwan and China, 42 percent of those polled had a good opinion of the DPP, compared with 21.6 percent for the KMT and 13.7 percent for the Chinese Communist Party.
The poll collected 1,004 valid samples from residents aged 20 or above across the nation. It has a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.
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