Mon, Jun 13, 2011 - Page 3 News List

DPP poll shows Tsai with slight edge

BATTLE GROUND:The DPP’s candidate seems to be making inroads in central parts of the nation as the survey showed Tsai with a 3.6 point lead in that area

Staff Writer, with CNA

Jhunan Dapu Self Help Association chairman Chen Wen-pin, right, shows Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen some snake beans during her visit to Miaoli County yesterday.

Photo: Peng Chien-li, Taipei Times

Results of a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) poll released yesterday showed DPP Chairperson and presidential nominee Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) holding a slight lead over her main rival, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

Support for Tsai registered at 41.3 percent compared with 40 percent for Ma, according to the poll.

Chen Chun-lin (陳俊麟), director of the party’s polling center, said the latest poll also showed that Tsai enjoyed 55.1 percent support from “neutral voters” and especially among younger voters (between the ages of 20 and 30) who have no distinctive affiliation to a political party.

Support for Tsai from neutral voters was almost 20 percentage points greater than Ma’s 33.5 percent, Chen said.

Tsai’s image, which is largely seen as a departure from traditional DPP candidates, has turned many female voters, especially housewives with children, in the party’s favor, Chen said, adding that were it not for Tsai, this segment might not support the DPP candidate.

In central parts of the nation, Chen said support for Tsai stood at 41.7 percent against Ma’s 38.1 percent, adding that this showed that the traditional political demographics of a “blue north, green south” no longer seemed to apply.

Chen said the central part of the country has always been regarded as being pivotal during presidential elections.

However, since the five special municipality elections in November last year, dissatisfaction with Greater Taichung Mayor Jason Hu’s (胡志強) performance has whittled away the traditional advantage the pan-blue camp enjoyed in central Taiwan, Chen said.

Hu won the Nov. 27 election last year over the DPP’s Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) with 730,284 votes, or 51.12 percent, compared with Su’s 698,358, or 48.88 percent, in a race that was much closer than expected as Su won almost every township in then-Taichung County.

Recent polls have consistently given Tsai a lead over Ma in central Taiwan of between 1 and 3 percentage points, Chen added.

Chen said the poll also showed that the party had reduced its traditional weakness among white-collar workers, adding that this likely was the result of public dissatisfaction with a widening wealth gap nationwide, as well as an ongoing food scare that has gripped the nation, which have raised questions about the Ma administration’s ability to govern.

Tsai’s “reasonable” and “gentle” image is welcomed by the middle class, Chen added.

The poll surveyed 1,416 respondents older than 20 and was conducted from Tuesday through Thursday. The margin of error was 2.66 percentage points.

TRANSLATED BY JAKE CHUNG, STAFF WRITER, WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER

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