People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) would not make much of an impact on the presidential election if he joined the race against President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) -Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), a poll has suggested.
According to the poll published by the Chinese-language China Times yesterday, support for Ma was 33.5 percent, while support for Tsai was 29.2 percent.
If Soong was to join the presidential race, the poll found that he had a support rate of just 10.3 percent of prospective. With Soong’s participation in the race, Ma’s support rate dropped only slightly to 33 percent, while support for Tsai was a little lower at 28.6 percent, the survey showed.
The difference in support between Ma and Tsai was less than 5 percentage points even with Soong’s participation. However, about 9 percent of respondents who supported Ma said they would vote for Soong if he joined the race. About 12 percent of Tsai’s supporters also said they would support the PFP chairman, the poll indicated.
The survey, conducted on Wednesday, questioned 1,088 eligible voters and had a confidence level of 95 percent.
The poll was released amid a rift between the KMT and the PFP over legislative nominations. In several interviews, Soong has said that the PFP would finalize its list of legislative nominees and that he would take part in either the -legislative or presidential election.
Soong’s possible candidacy in the presidential election has been seen as a potential spoiler for Ma, who is facing a tight race with Tsai, accoding to most opinion polls.
KMT spokesperson Lai Su-ju (賴素如) yesterday reiterated the party’s hope of KMT-PFP cooperation and said Ma, who doubles as the KMT chairman, was still seeking a meeting with Soong to discuss working together.
She said Ma had contacted Soong’s secretary on Sunday in an attempt to arrange a meeting with Soong. However, Soong said through his secretary that the timing was not right and any meeting should be held between the two parties’ secretary-generals.
PFP spokesman Wu Kun-yu (吳崑玉) said Soong is planning the party’s legislative nomination list and would decide at a later point whether to run in the presidential election or the legislative race.