The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) public opinion rating has dropped to a five-year low, while support for smaller parties has grown, a survey released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation found.
The survey asked respondents which political party they most supported, if at all.
Public support edged down to 22.6 percent for the DPP and declined to 18.4 percent for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), but reached a new high of 15.6 percent for the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP).
Another 6.3 percent of respondents said that they support the New Power Party (NPP) and 3.5 percent said the Taiwan Statebuilding Party (TSP), while 1.2 percent answered “other party,” 30.8 percent said they did not support any party and 1.7 percent had no answer.
The DPP’s support rate was 0.6 percentage points lower than last month and the KMT’s was 2.8 percentage points lower, while all other parties saw an increase in public support, foundation chairman Michael You (游盈隆) said.
Support for the TPP was 7.1 percentage points higher than last month, while the NPP’s was 3.3 percentage points higher and the TSP’s was 1.6 percentage points higher, he said.
The number of “neutral” respondents was 7.1 percentage points lower than last month, he added.
“Such a large drop in the popularity of the ruling party is cause for reflection, and to have the popularity of the largest opposition party drop, too, is also uncommon,” he said.
The survey also asked respondents to rate the performance of Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the performance of the mayors of the six special municipalities.
Chen received an approval rating of 62.9 percent, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) had 45.5 percent and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had 36.7 percent.
Asked to grade Chen’s pandemic performance on a scale of one to 100, 19 percent of respondents answered “90 or above,” 16.5 percent answered “80 to 89,” 11.7 percent answered “61 to 79,” 19.7 percent said “60,” 29.7 percent said “less than 60” and the remainder had no answer.
“Basically, this means that 67 percent of the population gave Chen a passing grade, while 36 percent specifically gave him a grade of above 80 percent,” You said.
However, while the numbers show general satisfaction with Chen’s overall performance, by all metrics the administration has hit an 18-month low, You said, adding that the change in approval correlated with a sharp increase in local COVID-19 infections since the start of last month.
Public support for the mayors has mostly remained unchanged since last month, he said.
For the survey, which was commissioned by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation, Focus Survey Research interviewed 1,072 people by telephone between Tuesday and Saturday last week. It has a margin of error of 2.99 percentage points.
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