Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) presidential campaign theme of “Taiwan’s first female president” failed to resonate with voters, according to a poll released by the Taiwanese Association for Pacific Ocean Development (TAPOD) yesterday.
A survey conducted three days before Saturday’s presidential election, in which President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) won his re-election bid, showed that two in three voters, or 66.7 percent, said they were “not interested” in Tsai’s campaign theme, TAPOD chairman You Ying-lung (游盈隆) said at a press conference held to announce the results.
Only 25.5 percent of a total of 1,646 respondents said they supported the theme, You said, adding that the results were not released until yesterday because election law prohibits disclosure or distribution of any surveys during the final 10 days of an election campaign.
Tsai failed to garner support from women voters, trailing in support among women by 15 percent as data showed 43.6 percent of women voters favored Ma, while 28.6 percent supported Tsai, the survey found.
The poll showed that 40.1 percent of respondents said they would vote for Ma, 32.7 percent would vote for Tsai and 7.2 percent would support People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜).
Tsai’s initiative of a grand coalition government, unveiled during the last week of her campaign, did win support from 57.2 percent of the respondents, while 24 percent said they were against it.
On the DPP’s China policy, which was seen by many analysts as the major reason for Tsai’s loss, former DPP chairperson Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良) told the press conference that Tsai should try to incorporate her cross-strait initiative into a new party resolution to replace the existing one before she steps down on March 1.
Hsu said he agreed with former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), who said the DPP should revise the “Taiwan independence clause” since its China policy was unable to convince most voters.
“The last mile to the presidency that Tsai has mentioned will be the cross-strait issue,” Hsu said.
The DPP’s presidential campaign was hurt by the discussion of the so-called “1992 consensus” and pro-China comments made by several business leaders, he said.
“It is time for the DPP to adjust its China policy,” Hsu said.