Poll finds Tsai Ing-wen most popular choice to lead DPP

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen is the most popular choice of candidate for the leadership of the main opposition party, the results of an opinion poll showed Friday.
Tsai has been widely credited with bringing the DPP back to the forefront of the political scene during her period as chairwoman from 2008 to 2012, when she resigned after losing the presidential election to President Ma Ying-jeou.
Tsai has not announced any intention to claim the leadership position again, with incumbent chairman Su Tseng-chang and former Premier Frank Hsieh as the leading contenders in the May election for the time being.
More than 60 percent of DPP supporters said Tsai was the most talented choice to lead the opposition party, according to a poll conducted by the Taiwan Indicator Survey Research on February 17-18 and released Friday.
Compared to Tsai’s 60.9 percent, Su received 21.8 percent and Hsieh 7.2 percent, the survey showed.
Asked who was the most likely to improve the DPP’s relations with China, 41.3 percent named Tsai, 21.1 percent chose Su and 9.3 percent picked Hsieh. A total of 8.9 percent said there was no real difference, while 19.4 percent failed to give a clear reply.
The poll results showed that Su faced a tough campaign to be re-elected because neither his China policies nor his management of the party in general had won much public support, media comments said.
TISR said it polled 1,004 residents of Taiwan from the age of 20 by phone, with a margin of error amounting to 3.1 percent.
The late May chairmanship election is likely to influence the further development of the DPP, and especially its campaign for the November 29 regional and local elections and for the 2016 presidential election.
Both Su and Tsai have been named as the most likely contenders to become Ma’s successor when he completed his second and final term. With his popularity ratings hitting figures below 15 percent in many opinion polls over the past year, the DPP hopes that it can regain power. Outsiders have described Su and Tsai as two “suns” because of their rivalry for influence in the opposition party.
On the ruling Kuomintang side, Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-bin, New Taipei City Mayor Eric Liluan Chu and Vice President Wu Den-yih have been named in the media as presidential hopefuls.