Fri, Dec 21, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Most would not support Tsai re-election bid: survey

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Brain Trust executive officer Chen Chih-chung speaks at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Hsieh Chun-lin, Taipei Times

Most Taiwanese would not support a re-election bid by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), but would support Premier William Lai (賴清德) if he represents the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for the nation’s top office in 2020, a survey published yesterday showed.

The poll, conducted by the green-leaning Taiwan Brain Trust think tank from Wednesday to Friday last week, gauged voter preferences for the 2020 presidential race after the DPP’s landslide losses in the Nov. 24 nine-in-one elections.

The poll found that Tsai’s disapproval rating has climbed 12 percentage points from a similar survey by the think tank in July to 66.8 percent, while her approval rating has dropped to only 19 percent.

While 45.7 percent of respondents said they would not vote for a DPP presidential candidate in 2020, the number rose to 66.3 percent when asked if they would support a re-election bid by Tsai, compared with 22.4 percent who said they would.

Meanwhile, public support for Lai appeared to be noticeably higher than that of Tsai.

Asked to select their preferred DPP presidential candidate for the 2020 election, 56.5 percent of respondents picked Lai and 17.3 percent chose Tsai, while 26.2 percent preferred neither, the survey found.

The think tank also put Tsai and Lai in a hypothetical two-legged race against three potential Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidates: KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), outgoing New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) and Kaohsiung mayor-elect Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜).

Tsai would receive 41.4 percent of votes if running against Wu (29.4 percent), with her support dropping to 32.3 percent and 27.8 percent if up against Han (48.7 percent) and Chu (53.6 percent) respectively, the survey found.

The margins would narrow significantly if the DPP nominates Lai, who would receive 41 percent and 41.6 percent of votes if facing Chu (43.8 percent) or Han (43.5 percent) respectively, the poll found.

The premier would easily defeat Wu with 60.3 percent of support against the KMT chairman’s 19.9 percent, it found.

However, independent Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) appeared to be the strongest presidential candidate, as the survey found that he would win in all hypothetical scenarios if he enters the race against the projected DPP and KMT candidates.

The tightest race would be a three-legged election between Ko, Chu and Lai, who garnered the support of 34.3 percent, 29.5 percent and 28.2 percent of respondents respectively, the poll found.

The survey collected 1,072 valid samples. It has a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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