The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) — founded in August by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) — has squeezed out the New Power Party (NPP) to become the third-most popular political party, a Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation survey has found.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led the pack with an approval rating of 29.7 percent, followed by the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) 29.1 percent and the TPP, which had an approval rating of 10.9 percent, the survey, which was released yesterday, showed.
Fourth and fifth were the NPP and the People First Party (PFP), with approval ratings of 5.6 percent and 2.2 percent respectively, it showed.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
No other parties reached 1 percent in the poll.
Compared with a similar poll last month, party affiliation has not changed much, with the two major parties having approximately equal strength, the foundation said.
However, support for the TPP rose 2.8 percentage points, while the NPP’s fell 1.1 percentage points, the poll showed.
A change of 1 or 2 percentage points could mean a lot for small parties, despite such fluctuations falling within the margin of error, the foundation said.
“The rapid decrease in support for the NPP is obvious, while whether the TPP takes advantage of this opportunity and rises further requires continued observation,” the foundation said.
The poll asked respondents who they prefer between President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who is seeking re-election as the DPP’s candidate, and Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), representing the KMT, in the presidential election on Jan. 11.
Tsai was backed by 51.3 percent of respondents, while 33.9 percent said they supported Han.
A breakdown of respondents’ political affiliations showed that 97 percent of DPP supporters backed Tsai, while 82.1 percent of KMT supporters backed Han, it showed.
Asked who they would support if former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) — who is now collecting signatures to meet a deadline on Saturday to be eligible to run as an independent — were an option next year, 49.2 percent of respondents said they would support Tsai, 30.7 percent backed Han and 9.5 percent favored Lu, the survey found.
Asked who they would back if PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) was a choice along with Tsai and Han, 46.1 percent said they would back Tsai, 31.1 percent supported Han and 11.4 percent backed Soong, it showed.
The foundation asked whether respondents agreed with the statement: “If Tsai loses in the 2020 presidential election, then Taiwan has no more hope.” It showed that 22.6 percent agreed with the statement, while 71.3 percent disagreed.
Asked: “If Han loses in the 2020 presidential election, then the Republic of China has no more hope,” 79.7 percent disagreed and 15.6 percent agreed.
The survey was conducted on Monday and Tuesday last week via telephone. It collected valid 1,089 samples from respondents aged 20 or above from across Taiwan. It has a margin of error of 2.97 percentage points.
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