Sun, Jan 15, 2017 - Page 3 News List

William Lai top pick for New Taipei mayor: poll

By William Hetherington  /  Staff writer

Respondents to a poll chose Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) as their top choice for New Taipei City mayor if he runs in next year’s elections, with New Taipei City Deputy Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) second.

Of those who responded to the survey — conducted by online media outlet — 47.6 percent supported Lai, of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), while 50 percent backed Hou, of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

With regards to the popularity of four other potential candidates, 18.2 percent of respondents would vote for DPP Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政), 14.2 percent supported DPP Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡), 12.1 percent picked DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) and 9.2 percent chose New Power Party (NPP) Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌).

The multiple-choice survey — conducted in the first two weeks of this month — found that 72.7 percent of DPP supporters said they would vote for Lai, while 42 percent would choose Hou and 35.5 percent would pick Lo.

Among KMT supporters, 72 percent said they would vote for Hou and 28.5 percent for Lai.

Of NPP supporters, 66.9 percent said they would vote for Lai, 39.9 percent for Hou and 34.6 percent for Huang.

Lai has consistently won top ratings in polls gauging the public’s satisfaction with the mayors of the six special municipalities and pundits have forecast that he will run for mayor of Taipei or New Taipei City when his second term as Tainan mayor ends in 2018.

Asked to choose freely among other candidates, as Lai has yet to declare his intentions, and the KMT has yet to announce a candidate, 28.5 percent of respondents declined to declare a choice or provided unusable responses, 16.5 percent chose Lo, 12.5 percent chose Wu, 10 percent chose Huang and 8.8 percent chose Gao.

When asked to choose among the four likely DPP candidates 47.8 percent of respondents chose Lai, while the other three candidates each garnered less than 10 percent support, implying that Lai would have majority support even in the constituencies of the other candidates.

On the question of their satisfaction with the performance of New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), 44.7 percent of respondents said they were satisfied, while 37.1 percent said they were not.

A further 18.3 percent failed to respond to the question or gave unusable responses.

The survey collected samples from 1,072 respondents aged at least 20, from 29 districts in New Taipei City on Monday and Tuesday last week. It has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

In related news, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), an independent, yesterday said in response to media queries about next year’s Taipei mayoral race that he was not worried about his potential DPP rival, Lai.

Asked about Lai’s gifting of couplets to Taipei city councilors to mark the coming Lunar New Year, a move seen by some as Lai’s preparation for his campaign for the Taipei mayoral seat, Ko, chuckling, said: “So what?”

“If worrying helps to solve problems, let us worry. If not, why worry?” he said.

Ko said that he would focus on his day-to-day work, which he said would be the “best preparation for re-election.”

Additional reporting by Sean Lin

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