Fri, Jan 22, 2016 - Page 1 News List

Poll shows KMT may follow New Party direction

DISTRACTED?Taiwan Thinktank’s Lai I-chung said the KMT’s ‘dogfight with the DPP’ helped the New Power Party garner the level of support it did

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Thinktank deputy executive director Lai I-chung points to a graph at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

A survey conducted by Taiwan Thinktank yesterday could indicate that a shift in the political landscape has taken place after Saturday’s elections and that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) could be moving in a direction similar to that of the New Party, as KMT supporters have apparently become more unification-minded, analysts said.

The poll, conducted among 1,028 people in 20 municipalities, indicated what analysts said was the widest vote-splitting ever, with 27.7 percent of respondents who voted for a KMT legislative candidate also voting for president-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

The poll found that 11.1 percent of respondents who voted for KMT presidential candidate Eric Chu (朱立倫) said they voted for a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative candidate.

Among those who cast their party votes — which determines the distribution of legislator-at large seats — for the KMT, 11.2 percent voted for Tsai, results showed.

By contrast, presidential votes and party votes were homogeneous among DPP supporters, with 91.1 percent of respondents who voted for the DPP also backing Tsai.

Asked why they think Tsai won, 33.6 percent said people were upset with the KMT in general, while only 1.1 percent said they were upset with Chu, the survey showed.

Forty-four percent of respondents said President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) should bear the greatest responsibility for the KMT’s defeat, while 11.6 percent said Chu should be held mainly responsible and less than 1 percent held Chu’s running mate, Jennifer Wang (王如玄), responsible, it showed.

Support for the KMT was low among people under 40 years old, with only 6.4 percent of respondents aged from 20 to 29 and 5 percent among those from 30 to 39 saying they voted for Chu, it said.

Trend Survey and Research Co chief executive officer Chou Yung-hong (周永鴻) said the KMT is becoming another New Party.

While 61.8 percent of respondents said they had faith in Tsai’s ability to handle cross-strait ties, 59.1 percent of KMT supporters expressed concern over her ability to address cross-strait issues, Chou said. While 60.5 percent of people said they are against a second meeting between Ma and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), 61.6 percent of KMT supporters said they welcomed it.

These findings suggest that the KMT runs counter to public opinion and is moving toward a “unification-minded” extreme, Chou said.

Thirteen percent of KMT supporters said they voted for the party to “check and balance” its adversaries, which is a “small-party mindset,” indicating that the KMT is in the process of being sidelined, Chou said.

Among respondents, 19.4 percent self identified as pro-New Power Party (NPP), compared with 11.7 percent who said they were pro-KMT, the poll showed.

The proportion of people who said they were pro-NPP was second only to the 35.6 percent of respondents who said that their political affiliation was with the DPP, it showed.

Asked why the NPP was able to garner so much support since its founding, Taiwan Thinktank deputy executive director Lai I-chung (賴怡忠) said: “The KMT was determined to engage in a dogfight with the DPP on cross-strait issues, but neglected that the public is vexed with its ‘one China’ stance.”

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