Tue, Mar 19, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Lai could win in any scenario; Tsai’s odds bad in any race, think tank says

SAFER BET?Respondents in a poll consistently chose the former premier over KMT and independent hopefuls, even in a hypothetical three-way race that includes Ko Wen-je

By Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff writer

Former premier William Lai (賴清德) leads President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) by more than 20 percent in a public opinion poll released by Taiwan Brain Trust showed yesterday.

A survey of 1,085 adults older than 20 on Tuesday and Wednesday last week, showed that 50.9 percent of respondents would support Lai as presidential candidate, compared with 29.2 percent for Tsai.

The two are set to face off in the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential primary.

The poll also compared Tsai and Lai’s approval ratings with those of potential Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidates.

Tsai would lead in a race against KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), with 54.3 percent saying that they would vote for Tsai in a two-way race and 29.5 percent that they would elect Wu, the think tank said.

However, Tsai would lose against former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) or KMT Legislator Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), with Tsai trailing by 13.2, 8.6 and 11.7 percentage points respectively.

If Lai were to run against Wu, 64.8 percent of respondents said they would support Lai, compared with 22.7 percent who would vote for Wu, the poll showed.

Lai would also lead against Chu (46.6 percent versus 44.1 percent), Han (48.6 percent versus 44.6 percent) and Wang (49.6 percent versus 36.7 percent), albeit by narrower margins, the think tank said.

Tsai would lose in any hypothetical three-way race against independent Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and a third candidate from the KMT, the poll showed.

If the KMT candidate were Wu or Wang, Ko would win; if it were Chu or Han, the KMT candidate would have a higher chance of winning, the poll showed.

However, if Lai were to represent the DPP in next year’s presidential election, he would win even if three candidates were vying for the position, the think tank said.

In a race between Lai, Wu and Ko, the candidates would receive 41.8 percent, 14.1 percent and 36.3 percent of the votes, the poll forecast.

In hypothetical races between Lai, Ko and either Chu, Han or Wang, Lai would win with 34.3 to 35.3 percent of the votes, the poll found.

The poll had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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