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Pollster analyzes why Taiwan's President Tsai won 8.17 million votes

Taiwanese pollster says Tsai's landslide victory due to "monstrous Han phenomenon" that created fear among large portion of electorate

President Tsai Ing-wen (second from right)

President Tsai Ing-wen (second from right) (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A pollster claims to have analyzed why Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) won her reelection with a record-breaking 8.17 million votes in the 2020 presidential election, beating her major rival, the Kuomingtang’s (KMT) Han Kuo-yu, by 2.64 million votes.

You Ying-lung (游盈隆), an opinion poll expert and chairman of the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation, said in a Facebook post on Monday that the opposition KMT party should have been able to win both the presidential and legislative elections following its landslide victory in the 2018 local elections, which saw the party win 15 mayoral and county commissioner seats out of 22.

Before 2018's local elections, 13 cities and counties in Taiwan were governed by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) mayors and commissioners, but after the elections, that number shrank to only six.

You said that Han had been a jobless middle-aged man for many years before he swept onto Taiwan’s political scene by winning the Kaohsiung mayoral race in 2018 and becoming the KMT’s presidential candidate in 2019.

The pollster added that the reason Tsai was able to secure such a victory over Han was because the "monstrous Han phenomenon" had created fear among a large portion of the electorate.

The pollster went on to say that the fact that Han was a highly controversial figure also contributed to Tsai's victory. People who admired Han said that he was a political genius of the kind "only seen once in a 100 years,” while Han's detractors mocked him, saying that he was a “blockhead” and “drunkard,” according to You.

Han’s decision to jump into the presidential race was a mistake judging from the results of the race, You said in the post, but he questioned if anyone could resist the temptation to rise to the top political position, especially a person who was without a job for so long.

Tsai adjusted her attitude and leadership style after the DPP's defeat in the 2018 local elections, and the reformed Tsai is who won the re-election, according to the post.

Tsai now has a greater say on whether to obliterate Han politically by supporting the continuing effort to recall him as Kaohsiung mayor, the pollster said, adding that the decision of whether to pursue such a move would test Tsai’s political wisdom.

In the end, the pollster said that whether Tsai would use the second chance given to her by the Taiwanese to make use of capable people, instead of nepotism, to create a bright future for Taiwan remains to be seen.

Updated : 2021-04-20 06:17 GMT+08:00