Polls show Taiwanese public indifferent to Tsai: poll expert Michael You

President Tsai Ing-wen held a disapproval rating of 46.8 percent in poll by Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation

Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation Chairman Michael You. (游盈隆)

Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation Chairman Michael You. (游盈隆) (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An inspection of opinion poll results show how the public has met President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) three-year tenure with indifference, said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) poll expert Michael You (游盈隆).

Tsai delivered an address at the Office of the President on Monday (May 20) to celebrate three years of her presidency and the DPP’s return to governance. During her Speech, Tsai put forward “10 key objectives for progress in Taiwan.”

The objectives included raising salaries and lowering taxes, expanding investments, upgrading industries, denuclearization, maximizing green energy use, pension reforms, long-term care improvement, social housing, improving defense systems and defending sovereignty.

The Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation’s latest general opinion poll showed Tsai’s approval rating had jumped to 43.1 percent in May, 8.6 percent higher than the previous month. Her disapproval rating still remained higher, however, at 46.8 percent.

You, who is Chairman of the foundation, said separate, more detailed polls show a clearer picture of the public’s view of Tsai.

In another poll, citizens were asked to rate Tsai’s competence on a scale of 0-100. Only 24.4 percent gave Tsai a score of between 0-49 to indicate disapproval, however, You said true approval can only be gaged from scores of 60 and above.

42.7 percent of voters gave Tsai a score of under 60, he said, and while 54.9 percent gave her 60 or above, 20 percent of those gave her exactly 60 points—scores that could certainly be viewed as “sympathy votes.”

An infograph showing the results of the poll. (Image: Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation)

Another poll, in which the foundation asked whether citizens were satisfied with the DPP’s performance over the past three years, found that 57 percent said they were “not too satisfied” or “completely unsatisfied.” This shows the party has much room for improvement, said You.

In the six key policy areas of national defense, cross-strait relations, foreign diplomacy, economics, judicial reform, and marriage equality, Tsai only gained majority approval for her performance in national defense, You said. The public were least satisfied with how she handled the same-sex marriage issue.

It is worth pondering whether the public’s evaluation of Tsai’s performance is too harsh, You said, or whether Tsai’s capabilities as president ought to be questioned.