Thu, Nov 30, 2017 - Page 3 News List

2018 Local Elections: Ko leading race for next year’s Taipei mayoral vote: poll

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je yesterday laughs while taking part in an activity with a group of kindergarten students at a news conference in Taipei announcing the launch of three non-profit kindergartens.

Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

The results of a poll conducted by the Taiwan Competitiveness Forum show Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) in the lead in next year’s Taipei mayoral elections.

The results were announced yesterday at a news conference by the forum’s chief executive Hsieh Ming-hui (謝明輝), director-general Pang Chien-kuo (龐建國) and Chinese Culture University professor Yang Tai-sun (楊泰順).

While Ko had a significant lead over other potential candidates, his advantage is not insurmountable, Pang said.

In the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) has the best chance of winning against Ko, trailing by only 5.8 percent, Pang said, adding that the poll showed 42.7 percent support for Ko and 36.9 percent support for Ting in a one-on-one scenario.

Ting enjoys 32.8 percent popularity, followed by other KMT legislators Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) (20.2 percent), Li Hsi-kun (李錫錕) (3.3 percent), Cheng Li-wen (鄭麗文) (2.7 percent) and Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) (1.8 percent), the poll showed.

For the KMT candidates, only Ting’s popularity — when going toe-to-toe with Ko — is within a 10 percent margin, although Chiang would be close, Pang said.

If the poll were conducted later, Chiang’s numbers might have been improved by his performance on Thursday last week in the Legislative Yuan, but he has only tepid support in his constituency, the forum said.

Young voters did not have a noticeable age preference, when comparing Ting with Chiang, Yang said.

While Ting has greater support in Shihlin (士林), Beitou (北投), Zhongshan (中山) and Songshan (松山) districts, with 29.3 percent, 44.8 percent, 30.3 percent and 29.3 percent respectively, Chiang’s younger age might benefit him, the poll showed.

Notably, 39.1 percent of respondents had no preference, but without further questioning, it is impossible to know if they are against all of the listed candidates, do not care or support other candidates, Pang said.

However, time is not on the KMT’s side, as Ting’s popularity in the forum’s last poll conducted in May was 43.1 percent to Ko’s 39.9 percent, Yang said.

Comparing the results of the two polls, the popularity of Ko has grown significantly and statistics indicate that the success of the Taipei Summer Universiade bolstered his popularity, Hsieh said.

Respondents are largely satisfied with Ko at 53.9 percent, compared with 37.9 percent who are dissatisfied, the poll showed.

Ko’s popularity might encourage him to seek re-election, but if he cannot maintain his popularity, his campaign might become an uphill battle, the forum said.

Ko’s support among older people, especially those 50 years and older, has fallen behind Ting and Chiang, and Ko’s stance on courtesy funds for older people on Double Ninth Day might continue to bleed their support, it said.

More than 70 percent of Taipei residents felt that the courtesy fund was not an act of vote-buying, Hsieh said, adding that it might be an important swing factor in next year’s election.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) might be forced to throw its support behind Ko for fear of splitting its base, Hsieh said, adding that if it were a two-way election, Ting would have the greatest chance of winning against Ko.

There are no DPP members who have a chance of contending with Ko’s popularity, the poll showed.

Premier William Lai (賴清德), the most popular of the DPP’s politicians, is only popular with 25.9 percent compared with Ko’s 41.4 percent, the poll showed.

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