A survey of potential candidates in the race for New Taipei City (新北市) mayor next year showed incumbent Eric Chu (朱立倫) would enjoy a support rating of 58 percent if he seeks re-election, while his rival from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), former DPP premier Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃), had 19 percent.
The poll, released by the Chinese-language United Daily News (UDN) yesterday, also showed that New Taipei City Deputy Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) would have a 44 percent support rating if he were to represent the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in the election, while support for Yu would be 29 percent.
Of the possible KMT candidates in the race, 49 percent of respondents said they would support Chu running for re-election, 13 percent favored Hou and about 5 percent wanted Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) for the post, the survey showed.
Chu, one of the KMT’s potential presidential candidates in 2016, is said to be arranging for Hou to run for New Taipei City mayor, while he skips the race to prepare for the presidential election. He declined to confirm yesterday whether he would seek re-election next year.
“I should focus my efforts on city development at the moment and not talk about the election. I will talk about it when the time is right, and I believe New Taipei City residents agree with me,” he said.
The survey was conducted from Dec. 16 to Dec. 19, polling 1,001 New Taipei City residents.
Asked about Chu’s conduct as mayor, 62 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with his performance, while 19 percent said they were not.
Chu enjoyed a high support rating of 89 percent among pan-blue voters; 33 percent of pan-green supporters also said they would vote for Chu if he decided to seek re-election.
Yu, on the other hand, had 57 percent of the pan-green voters, while only 4 percent of pan-blue voters said they would support him, the poll showed.
KMT spokesman Yang Wei-chung (楊偉中) said the party would not comment on the poll results. The KMT will stick to its nomination schedule for the seven-in-one local elections next year, and the nomination procedures for New Taipei City will be completed in the final round of nominations along with other special municipalities, Yang said.
Meanwhile, Yu’s office questioned the authenticity of the public opinion poll, saying that the former premier’s support rating in the survey was far lower than the party’s support base of about 45 percent in the municipality.
“A number of recent public opinion polls conducted by various media outlets look strange and seem to have been conducted with a hidden agenda and implications,” said Meng Yi-chao (孟義超), the former premier’s spokesperson.
Meng did not elaborate on what those implications were, but said the poll appeared to have been carried out to influence the KMT’s New Taipei City mayoral primary.
Yu is the third DPP politician to have complained about the surveys conducted by the UDN Group over the past two days. Former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) and DPP Legislator Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財), both aspirants in the DPP primary for Taipei mayor, on Monday also accused a UDN poll of being unfair and biased.
Additional reporting by Chris Wang