President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) public approval rating has dropped to a 21-month low following power outages and an increase in locally transmitted COVID-19 infections, a survey showed yesterday.
The Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation commissioned Focus Survey Research to conduct the survey, which was done by telephone from Monday to Thursday last week.
Tsai’s approval rating dropped to 45.7 percent, the lowest it has been in 21 months, foundation chairman Michael You (游盈隆) said.
Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval rating dropped by 9.5 percent from a survey conducted last month, You said.
“After so many months of favorable governance, the Tsai administration’s ability to run the country is being put to the test,” he said.
The survey asked respondents whether they approved of Tsai’s policies and handling of major issues, to which 8.5 percent said they strongly approved, 37.2 percent approved, 24.9 percent said they did not really approve and 16.4 percent did not approve at all, while 13.1 percent refrained from answering.
The results showed an 8.7 percent decrease in Tsai’s approval rating from a similar poll last month and an 11.4 percent increase in those expressing disapproval of her performance, You said, adding that such a large change in such a short time was rare.
Power outages on May 13 and Monday last week, an increase in local COVID-19 infections and allegations of gang affiliations brought against Democratic Progressive Party members were likely the cause of the approval-rating change, he said, adding that improvements in Taiwan-US relations were insufficient to offset the negative factors.
The survey also asked respondents how satisfied they were with Su’s performance, to which 7.7 percent said they were very satisfied, 37.2 percent were satisfied, 24.7 percent were not really satisfied and 19.9 percent were not satisfied at all, while 10.5 refrained from answering.
“This shows an almost even divide between those satisfied with Su and those not satisfied,” You said. “It’s a complete lack of consensus — and a first for a premier’s approval rating.”
The results showed that 11.5 percent more people expressed disapproval of the premier compared with last month, he said.
The poll collected 1,082 valid samples and has a margin of error of 2.98 percentage points.
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