William Lai continues to lead KMT and independent hopefuls for Taiwan's 2020 race: poll

Ex-Premier also ahead of President Tsai in event of DPP primary

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Former Premier William Lai (賴清德) leads potential candidates for the 2020 presidential race in a new non-partisan poll.

According to the poll conducted by the non-partisan Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation (TPOF), Lai also remains ahead of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) by a whopping 22 percentage points for the Democratic Progressive Party primary.

Lai officially announced his participation in party primaries in mid-March, which was followed by overwhelming pressure from Tsai to dissuade him from securing the DPP's official nomination.

However, if the party decides to anoint Tsai as its presidential candidate, the poll suggests that the party doesn't stand a chance of remaining in power if competing with Kuomintang's (KMT) strongest candidate, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), and independent Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲).

The latest poll shows that Lai remains leading other presidential hopefuls, beating Han by 2.1 percentage points and Ko by 5.4 percentage points in a hypothetical 2020 match-up.

Also, the former Premier and Tainan Mayor outperforms Tsai in seven national leadership qualities rated by poll participants, including caring for the needs of the people, capability to help Taiwan's economy grow, strong leadership, honesty and reliability, and his capability of handling the complicated cross-strait issue.

The poll contacted 1,072 registered voters between April 15 and 16. It carries a margin of error of plus or minus 2.99 percentage points.