2012 ELECTIONS: Tsai leads Ma in new poll

STRONG FEELINGS::The Taiwan Thinktank poll showed respondents divided over Ma and Soong, either loving or hating them, but pan-blue supporters did not hate Tsai

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 - Page 3

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has a small lead over President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in the presidential election campaign, a poll released yesterday by Taiwan Thinktank showed.

According to the poll conducted by the group on Thursday and Friday, support for Tsai was 39.6 percent, against Ma’s 38.7 percent, giving Tsai a 0.9 percentage point lead in the presidential battle.

Support for People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) was 11.7 percent, the poll showed.

While 52.4 percent of respondents said they admired Ma, 42.7 percent said they did not; 62.6 percent admired Tsai, with 29 percent saying they did not; and 40.5 percent admired Soong, while 49.7 percent did not.

As to perceptions of Ma’s performance, 57.8 percent said they were not satisfied with his performance, while 39.8 percent were satisfied.

Ma had a lead over Tsai in the north and center of the country, with his support in northern Taiwan at 38.4 percent versus Tsai’s 36.1 percent. In central Taiwan, support for Ma was 41.2 percent, against Tsai’s 40 percent.

Tsai has a large lead in southern Taiwan, with a support rate of 46.5 percent versus Ma’s 32 percent in Yunlin, Chiayi and Greater Tainan, and support of 47.5 percent versus Ma’s 32.5 percent in Greater Kaohsiung and Pingtung.

Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明), a political scientist at Soochow University and a member of the think tank, said the poll suggested that overall support for Ma, Tsai and Soong in the presidential race had not changed much since the previous two polls the group conducted.

“As to the public’s admiration for the three candidates, apparently Taiwanese have divided views on Ma and Soong. Either they love them or they hate them. The public is more neutral about Tsai. Even those who won’t vote for her do not hate her,” he told a press conference.

PFP legislative candidate Chen Cheng-sheng (陳振盛) said the PFP’s polls indicated that Tsai took a 3 percentage point lead over Ma last month.