The Penghu County commissioner contest is considered an open race, with opinion polls putting Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate a mere 2 percentage points ahead of his rival from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
A poll conducted by United Daily New on Nov. 3 found that 28 percent of respondents supported the KMT's Wang Chien-fa (王乾發), while 26 percent were rooting for DPP candidate Chen Guang-fu (陳光復).
A traditionally pan-blue ruled county, the only time that Penghu has been under DPP control was in the early 1990s, when the party's Kao Chih-peng (
Although there are three candidates in the election, independent candidate Hsu Ching-ming (
Asked about his chances of winning tomorrow, Chen said, "With roughly equal support for both camps, this is the first time that the competition has been so close. I am hopeful we will win."
"A lot of those not polled are out at sea right now. That is where a lot of our hidden votes will lie," he said.
A significant part of the island's population make their living through fishing. Chen speculated that as much as 60 percent of the vote may lie in these people's hands.
The 56-year old Wang has more than 30 years of political administrative experience and is the chief of Makung City (
However, campaign strategies aside, according to the Central News Agency, one of the most important incentives for Wang's supporters to vote pan-blue is to achieve "stability" in the development of Penghu.
Since the DPP came to power in 2000, Penghu residents have felt that their island's development and construction has been somewhat overlooked.
This feeling, in conjunction with the generally well received efforts of County Commissioner Lai Fong-wei (賴峰偉) of the KMT, who has been in power for the last eight years, has lead to the idea that voting pan-blue may be the safer option.
However, the 50-year old Chen, a former legislator and the current chair of the DPP caucus in Penghu, has built up a solid support base, having stationed himself in Penghu since losing to Lai in the last county commissioner elections four years ago.
During this period, Chen has built up relations with Penghu residents, in particular the elderly, who, according to the Central News Agency, have become his loyal supporters.
Among Chen's initiatives during this period has been to start a free weekly English class for children, which has attracted some 3,200 youngsters over the past four years.
With the elections just a day away, both the DPP and the KMT caucuses have pulled out all the stops, with top figures from each party making the rounds in Penghu.
On Monday, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) attracted some 5,000 supporters to a KMT campaign night, during which he told those present to "pass on the exciting yet warm experience" of Penghu from Lai to Wang.
In the pan-green camp, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), and Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) visited Penghu yesterday afternoon in a final bid to swing the balance.
One key voting segment is female voters, who have been a critical deciding factor in the past few elections.