Former Taipei EasyCard Corp chairman Sean Lien (連勝文) was the most qualified candidate for the Taipei mayoralty, while incumbent Greater Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) is expected to face a tough battle if he decides to seek re-election next year, a survey released yesterday showed.
Conducted by Taiwan Indicators Research Survey (TISR), respondents were asked who they saw as qualified among 11 hopefuls in Taipei and six in Greater Taichung, both seats considered symbolic, must-win constituencies for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Lien, son of former vice president Lien Chan (連戰), was by far the winner with 51.1 percent of respondents saying that he qualifies as mayor. Incumbent KMT Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) was second, with a support rate of 41.6 percent.
National Taiwan University Hospital physician Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), an independent, was ranked third at 38.3 percent, followed by former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) at 24.4 percent, KMT lawmaker Alex Tsai (蔡正元) at 23.9 percent and DPP Legislator Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) at 17.5 percent.
Taipei City Council deputy speaker Chou Po-ya (周柏雅) of the DPP was seventh at 16.8 percent, a shade above lawyer Wellington Koo (顧立雄) with 16.6 percent. The poll collected 968 valid samples on Dec. 1 and Dec. 2 and had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.
Further breakdown of the responses from those who identified themselves as pan-green supporters found that Ko led with a support rate of 55.1 percent, the pan-blue camp’s Sean Lien came second with 41.9 percent and Ting third with 35.6 percent.
Yet the 43-year-old Sean Lien is still tight-lipped about his Taipei bid for the race, which is set to take place at the end of next year.
A separate poll conducted in Greater Taichung between Dec. 2 and Dec. 4, which collected 952 valid samples with a margin of errors of 3.2 percentage points, showed that Hu could be facing a strong challenger in his re-election campaign, in the form of DPP Legislator Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍).
Hu, who has served in his current post for 13 years, still received the most support from respondents in the central city with 45.8 percent, but Lin was only a step behind at 43.3 percent.
DPP Legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) ranked third at 22.2 percent, while Deputy Minister of the Interior Hsiao Chia-chi (蕭家淇), who served as deputy Greater Taichung mayor under Hu, was fourth at 20.5 percent. A pair of KMT lawmakers, Chi Kuo-tung (紀國棟) and Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆), were fifth and sixth respectively.
Hu has not announced if he is seeking re-election, but most analysts predict that he will enter the race. The DPP has scheduled a public opinion poll on Dec. 30 between Lin and Tsai Chi-chang to determine the party’s candidate.