President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) popularity dropped for a second straight month, a poll by the Chinese-language Global Views magazine showed yesterday.
The poll, conducted by the Global Views Survey Research Center, put Ma’s popularity at 30.1 percent, down 0.9 percentage points from last month. His disapproval rating also dropped 1.4 percent to stand at 55.6 percent.
Ma secured a mandate of 58.45 percent in the presidential election two years ago. However, his approval rating has mostly remained below 40 percent since then, reaching its highest level of 40.7 percent in June last year.
Center director Tai Li-an (戴立安) said that although Ma’s disapproval rating fell slightly this month, it did not translate into greater popularity.
“The public is seeing no major events happening after Taipei and Beijing signed the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement [ECFA] in June,” he said. “Some might trust Ma, but they are not happy with his performance.”
Since the poll was conducted before Typhoon Fanapi hit the nation over the weekend and caused severe flooding in southern Taiwan, Tai said it remained to be seen whether this would affect public opinion.
The poll also showed that 41.4 percent of respondents did not trust Ma, against about 40 percent who did. As the difference between the two figures was small, Tai said it represented a divergence of public views on the issue.
Despite the uproar over the upcoming Taipei International Flora Exposition, Tai said the poll showed] the controversy had not had much impact on Ma’s trust index, although the event was awarded when Ma was Taipei mayor. Nor did the November local elections have any effect on levels of trust in Ma, Tai said.
On the performance of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators, more than 58 percent of respondents said they were dissatisfied, against 19.4 percent who said they were satisfied.
The poll, conducted between Wednesday and Friday, questioned 1,011 adults and had a margin of error of 3.1 percent.
In related news, Presidential Office Spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) yesterday criticized the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for its attacks on the flora expo, saying the party used the same tactic when swine flu hit last year.
Lo said that had it not been for the DPP’s “relentless” efforts to “defame” the government’s plan to tackle the matter, more people would have been willing to receive a vaccine and more lives would have been saved.
Forty-six people in Taiwan have died of swine flu since the outbreak began last year.