Poll says support for DPP administration falls

DISSATISFIED::The Taiwan Competitiveness Forum poll shows that 60 percent of respondents were unsatisfied with President Tsai, and 41 percent with Premier Lai

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Feb 13, 2018 - Page 3

Public support for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration continues to drop, while the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has garnered slightly more support than the DPP, according to a poll released yesterday.

The poll was conducted by the Taiwan Competitiveness Forum, whose members include forum director-general and former People First Party legislator Pang Chien-kuo (龐建國), and forum chief executive officer and KMT member Hsieh Ming-hui (謝明輝).

About 60 percent of the respondents said they were dissatisfied with President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) performance, while about 27 percent were satisfied, Hsieh told a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

Meanwhile, 41.1 percent of the respondents were dissatisfied with Premier William Lai’s (賴清德) performance, while 37.7 percent were satisfied, said Hsieh, who is a former New Party member.

While the DPP regards the passing of an amendment to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) last month — amid strong opposition from labor rights groups — as a crucial achievement for Lai, the poll found that only 18.8 percent of the respondents believed the amendment would boost labor rights, Pang said.

Asked if the amendment could improve general working conditions and salaries, 43.9 percent of those surveyed said no, the poll showed.

As for which condition of the amendment is the most unacceptable, 33.1 percent of respondents pointed to a relaxed regulation for work schedules that allows workers in certain industries to work for 12 consecutive days, the poll found.

The findings show that after being in office for about 20 months, Tsai’s support base has collapsed, while “Lai the Divine” is losing his divinity after being in office for half a year, Pang said.

The 2014 Sunflower movement — largely composed of students who opposed the KMT’s cross-strait service trade agreement — had given the DPP a considerable advantage in gaining a majority in local elections in that year and the presidential election in 2016, but the DPP is losing the support of students and younger people, he said.

When surveyed about their political leanings, 52.8 percent of the respondents said they were nonpartisan, the poll showed.

Only 18.1 percent said they supported the DPP, which was lower than the 19.1 percent who supported the KMT, but higher than the 6.2 percent for the New Power Party and 2.1 percent for the People First Party, it found.

Even though the difference of 1 percentage point between the responses for the DPP and the KMT is within the margin of error, the poll has revealed a change in public opinion, Pang said.

“The DPP will be unable to rescue its falling support rate, unless it has the rare opportunity to demonstrate its competence by solving a global political or economic crisis,” Chinese Culture University Department of Political Science dean Yang Tai-shun (楊泰順) said.

Polls conducted by other agencies have presented a similar trend, Yang added.

The poll, conducted from Jan. 28 to Jan. 30 by Taiwan Real Survey Co, collected 1,081 valid samples and has a margin of error of 2.98 percentage points.