President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) trust index fell to a new low in a poll released yesterday, while that of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) reached a record-high this month, a poll by the Chinese-language Global Views magazine found.
The poll, conducted by the Global Views Survey Research Center, put Ma’s confidence index at 41.9 percent on a scale of 0 to 100, down 1.6 percentage points from last month. It was Ma’s lowest score since August last year, when Typhoon Morakot lashed central and southern Taiwan, killing hundreds.
The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) confidence index, meanwhile, also dropped to a new low of 39.3 percent, down 1.3 percentage points from last month.
By contrast, Premier Wu Den-yih’s (吳敦義) trust index rose 1.7 percentage points to 45.1 percent.
The pollster said this showed that the public has differing levels of confidence in the Presidential Office, Executive Yuan and political parties.
It attributed the phenomenon to public disappointment with Ma and his administration, which it said had disappointed the public, especially in terms of crisis management, explaining its policies, unifying the administration and objectively assessing its performance.
Meanwhile, trust in the DPP increased slightly.
Tsai’s confidence index rose 0.7 percentage points to 52.5 percent, her highest score since the center began conducting the polls in June 2006.
The DPP’s confidence index gained 2.5 percentage points to 43.7 percent — the party’s best performance since June 2006 as well.
The pollster said the results reflected the DPP’s victories in the legislative by-elections earlier this month.
Those victories allowed the party to exceed the threshold of one-quarter of legislative seats.
The survey also said that the “public mood index” this month remained below 50 at 41.4 points, a 0.5 point increase from last month.
The public mood index consists of the political confidence index (PCI) and the economic confidence index (ECI).
The PCI was unchanged from last month at 45.3, while the ECI climbed 1 point to 37.4.
The political optimism index for next month increased 1.2 points to 47, while confidence in political stability over the next month fell from 42.4 points to to 41.5 points.
As the KMT performed worse than expected in last month’s “three-in-one” local elections — and is still smarting from criticism over the government’s response to Typhoon Morakot — the pollster said the four legislative by-elections next month would pose another challenge for the ruling party.
On the economic front, confidence in the current economic situation was 27.9 points, an increase of 1 point from last month.
The economic optimism index advanced 1.2 points to 47 points. Confidence that the economy would improve next month rose 2.7 points to 50.8, while confidence that personal finances would improve during the same period of time fell 0.4 points to 43.1.
The poll was conducted from Jan. 12 to Jan. 14 and 1,014 adults countrywide were surveyed.
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