The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is faring worse than the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) both in terms of overall approval ratings and support among young people ahead of the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 24, a survey released by the Taiwan Competitiveness Forum showed yesterday.
Voters were the most displeased with the rising cost of living, with 77.3 percent of respondents saying they were dissatisfied with the government’s handling of the issue, the survey found.
Nearly 70 percent of respondents said that tourism has suffered since the DPP came to power in May 2016, it showed.
On questions about the environment, 62.1 percent of respondents believed that air quality had gotten worse since the DPP came to power, while 55.1 percent said the nation has become more prone to flooding, it showed.
On the DPP’s China policy, 60.6 percent of respondents said it would make the lives of businesspeople working in China harder; 55.5 percent said the DPP should bear the greatest responsibility for the nation’s loss of five diplomatic allies since last year, while 56.4 percent said the “diplomatic avalanche” is attributable to the party’s cross-strait policies.
Nearly 40 percent of respondents said they did not think the DPP would seek to manipulate public opinion on cross-strait issues ahead of the elections.
Meanwhile, 66 percent of respondents said they were dissatisfied with President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) performance, while only 28.1 percent said they were pleased with her performance.
Premier William Lai (賴清德) also saw the highest disapproval rating since he took office a year ago, 53.9 percent, compared with 37.4 percent who said they were satisfied, the survey showed.
The KMT’s approval rating was 30.5 percent, while the DPP hit a record-low 19.8 percent, it showed.
Forum chief executive officer and KMT member Hsieh Ming-hui (謝明輝) attributed the decline in the DPP’s approval rating to the debacle involving the Transitional Justice Commission, referring to a leaked audio recording that allegedly showed former deputy chairman Chang Tien-chin (張天欽) comparing the commission to Dong Chang (東廠), a Ming Dynasty secret police and spy agency.
However, forum director-general Pang Chien-kuo (龐建國) later said the survey was conducted before news about the leaked recording broke.
Hsieh said a substantial portion of respondents did not think the DPP would capitalize on anti-China sentiment, because while such a tactic worked for the party ahead of past elections, cross-strait ties have become a liability and they could end up hurting the party.
Comparing the results with previous polls conducted by the forum, Chinese Culture University professor Yang Tai-shun (楊泰順) said the DPP’s approval rating rose from 18.2 percent to 28.9 percent after the flooding in the south last month, but that it has now dipped below 20 percent.
The previous rally in the DPP’s approval rating was likely due to its most loyal supporters “not learning their lesson,” while the latest poll could indicate that the DPP has hit “rock bottom,” he said.
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