Wed, Jul 15, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Hung Hsiu-chu plunges in polls

By Chen Yu-xuan and Chiu Yen-ling  /  Staff reporters

Support for Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presumptive presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) dropped by 8.3 percentage points in two weeks to 19.5 percent in a head-to-head matchup with Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who received 54 percent support, a poll released yesterday showed.

It was the first time that Hung’s support rating fell below 20 percent, Taiwan Indicators Survey Research general manager Tai Li-an (戴立安) said, citing Hung’s support rating of 31 percent early last month and 27.8 percent late last month.

If People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) enters the race, 41.2 percent of respondents said they would vote for Tsai, against Soong’s 22.8 percent and Hung’s 15.5 percent, the poll showed.

The survey was conducted on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

Compared with a poll from two weeks ago, in a three-way race, Hung saw a loss of 10 percent of voters who identified themselves as KMT supporters.

Support for Tsai against Hung increased from 41 percent in the poll early last month to 47.7 percent two weeks ago, Tai said.

If Soong were to replace Hung to represent the pan-blue camp, Tsai led Soong by 47.6 percent to 26.4 percent, compared with 41.9 percent to 32.6 percent two weeks ago.

After they were read statements from Hung and Tsai, respondents were asked whether the presidential hopefuls would be able to maintain the cross-strait “status quo” or seek to change it.

The poll found 37.8 percent of respondents said that Hung’s “one China, same interpretation” proposal, under which she defines the cross-strait relationship as two constitutional governments in a whole China, and her goal to sign a peace treaty with China intend to alter the “status quo,” 34.1 percent said the policy would maintain the “status quo” and 28.1 percent did not answer the question.

Asked about Tsai’s proposal to handle cross-strait relations in accordance with the constitutional order and mainstream public opinion, 54.3 percent said Tsai’s objective was to maintain the “status quo,” 19.6 percent said she would change it and 26.1 percent did not answer the question.

Separately, commentators yesterday said that Hung’s solid base of support stood somewhere between 20 percent and 30 percent, although she won the KMT’s primary with 46 percent approval in surveys commissioned by the party on June 12 and June 13.

Several polls conducted by various polling agencies after the KMT primary found that Hung’s support rating ranged from 20 percent to 30 percent, meaning that her core supporters account for 20 to 30 percent of the electorate, Cross-Strait Policy Association secretary-general Anson Hung (洪耀南) said.

Hung’s support rating “plunged in free fall” because her “one China, same interpretation” policy was tantamount to her opposition to the maintenance of cross-strait “status quo” and strident pace toward “unification,” Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said.

Hung has temporarily held off advocating the “one China, same interpretation” proposal, but “she has not taken it off the shelf,” Chen said.

The proposal could have further repercussions on the KMT’s performance in the legislative election to be held simultaneously with the presidential election in January next year, Chen added.

A poll by the Cross-Strait Policy Association on July 1 and July 2 found Tsai led Hung by 50.4 percent to 26.9 percent, it said.

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