Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) yesterday expressed confidence that she would secure victory in next year’s presidential race, saying her campaign’s polls showed her support rating trailing that of her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rival Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) by only a small margin.
Hung made the remarks at an event at KMT headquarters in Taipei yesterday morning attended by several Taiwanese businesspeople based overseas who support the deputy legislative speaker.
“The media have assumed that my opponent [Tsai] could win the election lying down,” Hung said.
“Despite this, I am confident and do not believe their assumptions are necessarily aligned with reality, as internal polls conducted by my campaign team suggest the two of us are closely matched,” she said.
Hung said on the sidelines of the event that the polls indicated the support ratings of all three candidates have shown some ups and downs.
The latest poll showed Tsai just 7 percentage points ahead of her, Hung added.
Asked whether the poll results had given her confidence a boost, Hung said she did not experience any major mood swings because she “has always remained confident.”
“I am certain that each step I have taken and every effort I have made would not go unnoticed in the eyes of my supporters,” she said.
“That is why there is no need to be bothered by outside disturbances,” Hung said.
According to a survey released by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) on Thursday, Tsai held a commanding lead among the candidates with 44.75 percent support.
People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) had 13.76 percent support, while Hung was at 12.13 percent, the Liberty Times survey showed.
A Taiwan Thinktank poll on Monday last week yielded similar results, showing Tsai having 47.6 percent support, against Hung’s 16.3 percent and Soong’s 13.9 percent.
Hung said her supporters overseas were a vital source of strength who have kept her from collapsing and motivated her to keep going.
“Cross-strait relations are of great importance and I hope they can be brought to the next level based on the 1992 consensus,” Hung said.
The so-called “1992 consensus” is a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted making up in 2000 referring to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Beijing that both sides acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
She said she does not favor rapid unification with China as the public has assumed, but is guided by the Republic of China Constitution.
Tsai said later on the sidelines of a World Taiwanese Chambers Union trade forum in Taipei that she had not seen the “internal polls” Hung referred to and that she respected her statements.
Tsai said the results mentioned by Hung were “slightly discrepant” from those shown in surveys carried out by her campaign office.
As to whether there was a hint of competition between her and Hung given that both of them met with Taiwanese businesspeople yesterday, Tsai said the event she attended was simply a platform for her to exchange opinions with overseas entrepreneurs who had returned home to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival.
“Many of them are leaders among Taiwanese businesspeople based in Southeast Asian countries. Hopefully their support could help me get elected president,” Tsai said.