President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) approval rating sank to a new low this month as economic confidence indices continue to drop, a poll released yesterday by Global Views (遠見雜誌) magazine showed.
The poll, conducted by the Global Views Survey Research Center (遠見民調), gauges what it calls the Taiwan public mood index (TPMI), which draws from a political confidence index (PCI) and an economic confidence index (ECI).
On a scale from zero to 100, the survey found that the TPMI was 42.6, the PCI was 50.1 and the ECI was 35. The figures represented a drop from last month ranging between 0.3 percentage points and 1.9 percentage points.
On the political front, respondents’ confidence in Ma was only 49.4, a drop of 3.2 percentage points from last month. Premier Liu Chao-shuan’s (劉兆玄) confidence index was 46.6 and that of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) was 43.2.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) received 40.6 in the confidence index, a 0.1 decline. The DPP’s confidence index climbed by 3.6 percentage points to 36.2.
Pollsters attributed the DPP’s growth to Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu’s (陳菊) ice-breaking visit to China last month, which won much acclaim after she referred to Ma as “President Ma of the central government” in front of Chinese officials.
Although a majority of respondents expected to see cross-strait detent continue next month, the score for political stability for next month was 48.7. The figure was still an increase from last month.
Pollsters said that the incresase might have something to do with the summer lull in the legislature.
Ma’s announcement that he would run for KMT chairman was likely to have played a role in boosting public confidence in next month’s political prospects, they said.
The economic index was 26.5, a drop of 0.9 percentage points from last month. The economic optimism index plunged by 2.9 percentage points to 43.6.
The lackluster performance of the local and international stock markets might have contributed to the decline, pollsters said. Compounding the problem were price hikes for utilities, food and commodities, they said.
Most respondents said they were pessimistic about next month’s economic prospects, with the economic improvement index scoring 45.9 and the index for individual finances at 41.2.
The poll, conducted on June 16 and June 17, questioned 1,004 adults across the country. Meanwhile, Ma yesterday vowed to continue with his economic policies and increase domestic demand.
Ma said the economic downturn could drag on for a long period of time, adding he understood the opposition had different ideas about his economic and cross-strait policies.