DPP frontrunners leading against president: poll

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  Staff Reporter

Mon, Apr 25, 2011 - Page 3

A survey released on the eve of the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) official telephone poll to pick its candidate for next year’s presidential election showed that its frontrunners had a very good chance of beating President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) — but not necessarily each other.

The Chinese-language Apple Daily survey showed Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who took a leave of absence as DPP chairpedson to concentrate on the primaries, has a slight advantage over former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) as the polls open, although both would win over Ma by double-digit figures.

The official DPP telephone polls, used to select the nominee for next year’s elections, start -tonight between 6:30pm and 10pm and will run until Wednesday at the earliest.

In the comparative survey, Tsai would take 50.05 percent against Ma’s 35.61 percent in the presidential election. The poll says Su would obtain 46.95 percent against Ma’s 34.30 percent.

Under the DPP’s official comparative poll regulations, when figures show more than one candidate winning against Ma, the contender with the highest support numbers takes the nomination, regardless of the margin.

Tsai, with a lead of more than 3 percent over Su, would take the nomination under DPP regulations.

Former DPP chaiman Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良), who has been trailing heavily since the primaries began last month, would lose to Ma by about 30 percent, with 17.15 percent against Ma’s 47.05 percent, the survey said.

Conducted between Thursday and Saturday, the numbers came after DPP candidates held their last of four policy sessions on Wednesday.

Neither Tsai nor Su offered breakthrough performances during the four events, which took place over a period of two weeks, observers said.

Polls have consistently showed the two neck-and-neck since both declared their candidacies last month.

“The televised sessions did not necessarily offer much for either Tsai or Su in terms of poll support,” said Niu Tse-hsun (鈕則勳), an associate professor that studies political marketing at Chinese Culture University. “What it comes down to is their performances in the final election rallies and whether they can attract the attention of undecided voters.”

Tsai and Su have ramped up their campaign events over the final “super weekend,” holding large rallies in Greater Kaohsiung and New Taipei City (新北市) in a last ditch effort to appeal to voters.

The two did not comment on the latest survey numbers, with DPP regulations preventing polls from being discussed since last Friday.

The winner is expected to be announced on Wednesday and confirmed on May 4.

The Apple Daily survey polled 1,068 voters nationwide by telephone, but did not give a margin of error.