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Ma's lead over Tsai widening as election draws near: poll

Ma's lead over Tsai widening as election draws near: poll

Taipei, Nov. 6 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang (KMT) is widening his lead over his main competitor Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen, with 10 weeks to go before the presidential election, a public poll showed Sunday. The third monthly presidential poll released by the Taiwanese Association for Pacific Ocean Development (TAPOD) also found that Ma's idea of a peace pact with China has not undermined his public support, TAPOD president Michael Y.L. You said. The survey showed a 38 percent support rate for Ma, and 30.7 percent for Tsai. James Soong, chairman of the People First Party (PFP) who has registered to run through public endorsement, is distant third with a support rate of around 10 percent, according to the poll. Last month, Ma floated the idea of "cautiously considering" the possibility of signing a cross-strait peace pact within the next decade, on condition of certain factors such as strong public backing. The opposition DPP criticized the idea as a step toward Taiwan's unification with China and said Ma's China policy was premature. The poll showed that only 36.1 percent of the public shared the DPP's view on that issue, while 44.5 percent disagreed. In addition, more than 40 percent saw Ma as the candidate most capable of tackling complicated Taiwan-China issues and achieving a breakthrough in Taiwan's diplomatic dilemma. On those two questions, Tsai's backing was 16 percent and 21.9 percent, respectively. On the issues of the widening wealth gap and environmental pollution in Taiwan, around 30 percent of the respondents said Tsai was the better candidate, while some 24 percent chose Ma. The nationwide telephone survey, conducted Oct. 31 to Nov. 2, collected 1,680 valid samples among respondents aged 20 and over. It had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.39 percentage points. In the TAPOD poll released in October, 33.6 percent said they would vote for Ma, 29.7 percent for Tsai and 11.5 percent for Soong. In September, the poll figures were 33.1 percent for Ma, 32.4 percent for Tsai and 12.7 percent for Soong. The TAPOD is set to release two more polls in December and January, ahead of the Jan. 14 elections. Established in 2009, the Taipei-based TAPOD is a non-profit organization aimed at promoting democracy, human rights and sustainable development in Pacific countries. (By Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-01-25 19:15 GMT+08:00