Fri, Sep 29, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Tsai’s approval rating rallies past 30 percent in poll

PRESIDENTIAL TIES:The DPP garnered the most support ahead of the elections next year, but most said they would not support candidates affiliated with Chen Shui-bian

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Brain Trust executive officer Chen Chih-chung, left, yesterday speaks at a news conference in Taipei held by the trust to announce its latest poll as Trend Survey and Research Co general manager Wu Shih-chang, center, and National Dong Hwa University professor Shih Cheng-feng look on.

Photo: CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) approval rating has rallied to more than 30 percent following Premier William Lai’s (賴清德) inauguration this month, while 60 percent of voters would not support councilor candidates affiliated with former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in next year’s election, a poll released yesterday by the Taiwan Brain Trust said.

Tsai’s performance was satisfactory to 34.6 percent of the respondents, while 48.7 percent said they were dissatisfied, the poll showed.

The 34.6 percent satisfaction rate — rising from 28.5 percent in June — was the highest approval rating among the think tank’s surveys since April, while the dissatisfaction rate fell from 56.3 percent in June to 48.7 percent this month.

While 61.5 percent of the respondents said they had confidence in Lai’s performance, only 20.8 percent said they did not.

The Cabinet reshuffle launched by Lai on Sept. 8, in which only three minister-level officials were replaced, was satisfactory to 39.7 percent of the respondents, while 31.4 percent were dissatisfied, the survey showed.

Minister of National Defense Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬), Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) and Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) were among the most unpopular Cabinet members, with disapproval ratings of 47.6 percent, 45.3 percent and 40.9 percent respectively and approval ratings of 30.3 percent, 28 percent and 31.1 percent.

“There is a large gap between the approval ratings of the premier and his Cabinet because the reshuffle was a minor one. It remains to be seen if the minimally restructured Cabinet can keep up with the highly popular Lai,” Taiwan Brain Trust executive officer Chen Chih-chung (陳致中) said.

A large portion of Tsai’s supporters are people older than 60 and people with only an elementary-school education, whose support for Tsai is mainly based on sentiment, while people with higher education are particularly dissatisfied with Tsai, National Dong Hwa University professor Shih Cheng-feng (施正鋒) said.

In terms of party preference, 33.6 percent of respondents identified with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), 23.9 percent with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), 12.3 percent with the New Power Party (NPP) and 4.5 percent with the People First Party (PFP), while 14.4 percent said they are neutral.

The popularity of the DPP has climbed from a low of 26.7 percent in October last year to 33.6 percent this month, nearly as high as its 35.1 percent rating in April last year, one month before Tsai’s administration was sworn in.

The popularity of the KMT has been rising steadily, from a low of 17.2 percent in April last year to 23.9 percent this month, while the NPP’s popularity has fluctuated between 10.5 percent and 15.4 percent in the same period.

The DPP remains the most popular party in the nation, although it is without a strong approval rating.

While 29.4 percent of respondents disapproved of the DPP, more than 40 percent said the performance of other parties was unsatisfying, including the KMT (42.9 percent disapproval), the NPP (44 percent disapproval) and the PFP (48.7 percent disapproval).

While 34.8 percent had a negative impression about the DPP, the KMT was negatively perceived by 45.4 percent of respondents, the NPP by 49.4 percent and the PFP by 52.6 percent.

In next year’s councilor elections, 37 percent of respondents said they would vote for the pan-green camp, including 30.4 percent for the DPP, 4.6 percent for the NPP and 1.3 percent for the Green Party, and 25.8 percent said they would vote for the pan-blue camp, including 23 percent for the KMT and 1.5 percent for the PFP, while 32.9 percent were undecided.

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