The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) on Saturday failed to reach a consensus on a united ballot for the January presidential election due to disagreements over sampling error size and polling methodology.
The two opposition parties on Wednesday announced they were to use public polling to decide who would take the lead spot on the ballot, KMT candidate New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) or TPP Chairman Ko Wen-je (柯文哲).
Each of the parties and former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) picked an expert to analyze polls conducted from Tuesday last week to Friday, with the results to be announced at 10am on Saturday.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
However, after discussion late into the night on Friday, the three polling experts failed to reach a consensus, Ma Ying-jeou Foundation director Hsiao Hsu-tsen (蕭旭岑) said.
The TPP representative protested using three of the nine selected surveys, leaving a stalemate over whether they should be included, Hsiao said, without specifying the issues cited.
If the six remaining surveys are analyzed using the statistical margin of error, five support a Hou-Ko ticket, Hsiao said.
However, if a 3-percentage-point margin were used as supported by the TPP, they would be tied at three apiece, he added.
According to their agreed criteria from Wednesday’s meeting, a result within the margin of error would count as a point toward a Hou-Ko ticket, meaning a larger sampling error size would favor the KMT candidate.
The experts have therefore recommended that discussions be continued at a later date, Hsiao said.
At a separate news conference later in the morning, Ko reiterated the importance of forming an opposition alliance.
Ko said he wishes to keep negotiating with the KMT, but could not allow a 6-percentage-point margin of error.
“It’s like asking us to surrender our weapons,” he said.
Asked whether this means the breakdown of an opposition coalition, Ko said that “anything is possible” until the window for candidate registration closes at 5pm on Friday.
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