Su closes gap with Hou in New Taipei City race: poll

PERCEPTION::While just more than half of respondents said Hou was more likely to win the mayoral election, 42.8 percent said Su would be a more capable mayor

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Sep 06, 2018 - Page 3

The gap is closing between former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) of the Democratic Progressive Party and his Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) rival for New Taipei City mayor, former New Taipei City deputy mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), who now only leads by 0.7 percentage points, according to a poll by the Taiwan NextGen Foundation released yesterday.

The survey, conducted from Wednesday to Friday last week, found that Hou and Su are locked in a tight race, receiving the support of 43.9 percent and 43.2 percent of New Taipei City residents respectively.

About 12.9 percent of respondents declined to choose between the two candidates.

A survey published by the foundation on July 27 showed that Hou held a 2 percentage point lead over Su’s 40.6 percent support rating, while 16.8 percent of respondents were undecided.

Despite the narrow margin between the two in the latest poll, the majority, or 50.7 percent, of respondents said they believed Hou is more likely to win the mayoral election in November, compared with 35.2 percent who said Su had better prospects.

Regarding the two candidates’ governance capabilities, the poll found that most New Taipei City residents think Su would be a better mayor than Hou.

Asked who is more capable of making the city a better place, 42.8 percent of respondents said Su, while 41.2 percent said Hou.

As for understanding the needs and solving the problems of residents, 46 percent and 43.1 percent of respondents said Su is more up to the tasks respectively, compared with 35.7 percent and 39.1 percent for Hou.

The survey also sought to gauge residents’ perception of the two candidates’ past governance performance in the muncipality.

More than 51 percent of respondents said that Su’s performance during his two terms from 1997 to 2004 as commissioner of Taipei County — which later became New Taipei City — left an impression on them, but 46 percent thought otherwise.

Meanwhile, 67.3 percent of respondents said that they did not remember much about Hou’s time as deputy mayor from December 2010 to March, when he resigned to focus on his campaign, while 28.9 percent expressed the opposite opinion.

New Taipei City, the nation’s largest municipality by population, is the only one of the six special municipalities currently governed by the KMT.

The party has vowed to retain its control over the city and to win back Taipei and Taichung in the Nov. 24 nine-in-one elections.

The poll collected 1,432 valid samples. It has a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of 2.59 percentage points.