Sun, Nov 09, 2014 - Page 2 News List

2014 ELECTIONS: Poll shows most believe Ko Wen-je won debate

INCONSEQUENTIAL:Although 40% of respondents said Ko outperformed Lien to 27% who thought Lien won, the debate did not change their support ratings

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Reporters watch as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei mayoral candidate Sean Lien, left, and independent candidate Ko Wen-je shake hands on screen during their debate on Friday night.

Photo: CNA

A survey following Friday’s TV debate between independent Taipei mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Sean Lien (連勝文) showed that neither of the two saw their support rate alter significantly, although more people said they considered Ko to have won the debate.

According to the poll conducted by the Chinese-language United Daily News (UDN) following the debate, 40 percent of the respondents said they support Ko, with Lien trailing on 29 percent. The figures remained relatively unchanged from the day prior to the debate.

However, Ko’s lead has narrowed from 13 percentage points in a poll in the middle of last month to 11 percentage points in the latest survey.

About 28 percent of the Taipei voters, a percentage that saw little change in the wake of the debate, said they are undecided.

Forty percent of Taipei’s electorate who watched the debate thought Ko outperformed Lien, 27 percent believed Lien had the upper hand, 8 percent took it to be a tie and 23 percent had no comments, the survey found.

Forty-three percent of the respondents said Ko has a better chance of winning the election, up by 3 percentage points from last month’s survey, while the number of people who said Lien would win fell from 31 percent to 25 percent. Less than 1 percent of those polled said any of the five other candidates would be elected.

The UDN report concluded that the debate had little effect on the expected election outcome.

Meanwhile, the host of Friday’s debate, veteran SET-TV anchor Chen Ya-lin (陳雅琳), posted her reflections of the event on Facebook early yesterday.

“Lien was more mature and discreet than I’d imagined and Ko exceeded expectations in showing his wisdom,” Chen said, adding that she was “touched by several remarks tonight.”

As for the controversy spurred by some civil groups invited to the debate to pose questions to the candidates, Chen said that the six representatives sent by the six groups were all chosen by the two camps, with each recommending three.

“The wise public would know from their questions [why they were picked],” she wrote.

The controversy was over the apparently biased questions posed by the three civic groups invited by Lien’s camp, who prepared different questions for Lien and Ko. While Lien was asked about his policies, allegations of corruption involving National Taiwan University Hospital’s MG149 account, Ko’s alleged leaning toward Taiwan’s independence and criticism of Ko’s allegedly sexist remarks were the main focus of the three groups’ questions for Ko.

Taiwan Coalition Against Violence director-general Chang Ching-li (張錦麗), one of the civic group representatives recommended by Lien’s campaign team, was yesterday found to be among Lien’s 100 city administration advisors.

Lien’s campaign spokesperson Chen Hsiao-ching (陳曉卿) confirmed the finding and said: “There were no rules on who was not to be selected.”

Taiwanese cultural critic Chang Tieh-chih (張鐵志), the editor-in-chief of Hong Kong’s City Magazine, yesterday criticized what he described as blatant partiality by some of the “civic groups” in the mayoral debate.

“The questions posed by the civic groups have saliently demonstrated the difference in value and class on the two sides. It is amazing that the three representatives recommended by the KMT could have been so consistently prejudiced. It shows that Lien’s camp has not only failed to [offer a satisfying answer to] the question of people’s concern about Lien’s wealthy and powerful background, but it could not even retain basic decency,” he commented on Facebook. “And the inability to find up-to-the-mark civic groups at the event manifested in the humiliation it brought upon itself.”

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