Wed, Mar 09, 2016 - Page 5 News List

Tainan mayor tops list of leaders’ approval ratings

TOPSY-TURVY:New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu’s rating dropped for the third consecutive time, while approval of President Ma Ying-jeou increased to 24 percent

Staff writers

Tainan Mayor William Lai speaks at an event in Tainan on Saturday last week.

Photo: Hung Jui-chin

Tainan Mayor William Lai’s (賴清德) approval rating has reached 76 percent, leading 12 other political leaders in the nation, due to positive public reaction to his performance during rescue efforts following the magnitude 6.4 earthquake that devastated parts of Tainan, according to a recent poll.

Lai, who only had an approval rating of 39 percent in the previous poll conducted by local TV network TVBS’ poll center in September last year, ranked first among 13 of the nation’s political leaders, followed by Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊), whose approval rating increased by 12 percentage points from the last survey to 73 percent.

President-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) came in the third with an approval rating of 63 percent, which was also an increase of 12 percentage points.

All three are Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members.

Popular but controversial Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) saw his approval rating fall by 3 percentage points to 57 percent to finish fourth.

Poll debutant Premier Simon Chang (張善政) finished fifth with a 54 percent approval rating, the highest among pan-blue politicians.

Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦), who just finished organizing this year’s Taiwan Lantern Festival, which saw record-high attendance, ranked sixth with a 48 percent approval rating, with Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) trailing by a small margin at 47 percent in seventh place.

Both Cheng and Lin are also DPP members.

Former deputy legislative speaker and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairperson candidate Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) finished in eighth with a 45 percent approval rating, a decrease of 9 percentage points compared with the September poll.

Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), the first DPP member in the position, ranked ninth at 44 percent.

New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) ranked 10th, following another consecutive decline in approval rating to 31 percent. Chu’s approval rating was 60 percent in 2014 and 41 percent in the September survey.

The last three political figures in the ranking were former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) at 26 percent, followed by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) with 24 percent and Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) with 20 percent. The poll marks the first time Ma’s approval rating has surpassed 20 percent since his second term started in 2012.

The survey was conducted by the TVBS poll center from March 1 to Friday last week, with 1,047 valid samples collected by telephone from people over the age of 20 selected at random nationwide.

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