Wed, May 20, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Tsai beats possible KMT rivals in poll

THINKING AHEAD:The Taiwan Thinktank survey showed the strongest challengers to the DPP chairperson are two men who have said they are not planning on running

By Chen Hui-ping and Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A new poll on next year’s presidential election has Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) ahead against five potential Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) contenders.

The results of the poll conducted by the Taiwan Thinktank were released yesterday at a news conference in Taipei and show that Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would be the strongest opponent, given his support rating was just 3 percent less than Tsai’s.

Tsai received much more support if judged against Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) and former department of health head Yaung Chih-liang (楊志良) — who have registered for the KMT presidential primary — the poll found, with Tsai backed by 63.6 percent of respondents when compared to Hung, who was backed by 21.5 percent, and supported by 63.4 percent if up against Yuang, who was favored by 17.5 percent.

When polled against Wang, KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) and Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) — none of whom have entered the KMT primary, but are still seen as possible “recruits” — Tsai beat Wang by 44.1 percent to 41.3 percent, Chu by 46.7 percent to 41 percent and Wu by 64.1 percent to 20.2 percent, the poll showed.

The think tank said that Wang, in a poll that pitted the five KMT members against each other, was backed by 38.2 percent of respondents, followed by Chu with 29 percent, while Wu attracted 6.2 percent support, Yaung 6 percent and Hung 5.4 percent.

Think tank deputy chief executive Lai I-chung (賴怡忠) said that Wang and Chu would be the strongest KMT candidates.

Conducted on Saturday last week, the poll surveyed people aged 20 or older and collected 1,079 valid samples, with a 95 percent confidence level and a marginal error of plus or minus 3 percent.

When asked later about the poll results, Wang declined to comment.

“I do not know,” the legislative speaker said when reporters asked him about President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) comment that he hoped that the KMT’s presidential candidate would be the one most likely to win, and that Wang has the highest poll numbers among possible KMT candidates.

Meanwhile, Hung, who was backed by less than 30 percent of respondents in a similar poll conducted by the Chinese-language Apple Daily, said that she expects a turnaround toward the end of the presidential campaign.

She cited former US president Bill Clinton’s low popularity when he began his race against then-US president George H.W. Bush and the Conservative Party’s victory in the British general election this month as examples of politicians who came from behind to win victories.

Additional reporting by Alison Hsiao

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