Thu, Jul 29, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Taipei, Sinbei candidates neck-and-neck, poll says

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Candidates of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) are neck-and-neck in both Taipei and Sinbei cities ahead of November’s special municipality elections, according to a university prediction center.

National Chengchi University’s Prediction Market Center yesterday said DPP candidates in Taipei and Sinbei have caught up with their KMT counterparts.

Prediction markets are speculative exchanges, with the value of an asset meant to reflect the likelihood of a future event. Members can tender virtual bids on events, with the bidding price reflecting the probability.

On a scale of NT$0 to NT$100, bidders felt the probability of DPP candidate Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) winning the Taipei poll grew from NT$48 last month to NT$49 on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the bidding price of Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) fell from NT$53 to NT$49.

In Sinbei, the value of DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who is running for Sinbei mayor, has grown from NT$40.25 when the party announced her candidacy in May to NT$49.3 on Tuesday. The likelihood of her KMT opponent, former vice premier Eric Chu (朱立倫), winning dropped from NT$52 last month to NT$49.3.

The KMT holds a seemingly insurmountable advantage in Greater Taichung, the center said.

KMT Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) continues to lead, but the gap is narrowing, especially after an alleged gang leader was shot dead in the city late in May. The possibility of Hu winning dropped dramatically from NT$77 to NT$67 after his DPP opponent Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) announced his candidacy on May 23. Hu’s value dropped to as low as NT$57.6 following the shooting. His price rebounded to NT$66.6 on Tuesday.

Su’s price reached NT$35 on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, DPP candidates continue to hold significant leads in the south. The chances of winning in Greater Kaohsiung for Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) remains high. The possibility of Chen winning the poll had remained between NT$66 and NT$70 before falling to NT$62.32 in May — its lowest level since she announced her candidacy on May 5. It rose to NT$89.2 last month, but dropped to NT$79.3 yesterday.

Her KMT challenger, Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順), remained in the range of NT$12 and NT$16. The latest price was NT$16.8.

In Greater Tainan, the margin between DPP candidate William Lai (賴清德) and his KMT opponent, Kuo Tien-tsai (郭添財), remained large, with Lai remaining between NT$87 and NT$90 and Kuo fluctuating between NT$10 to NT$17. The latest values as of Tuesday for Lai and Kuo were NT$90.2 and NT$15.5, respectively.

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