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New Taipei, Taipei mayors receive best rating for COVID response: Poll

President Tsai's support drops below 50 percent for first time in second term

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New Taipei City Mayor Hou Yu-ih visiting a room for medical staff Tuesday (CNA, New Taipei City Government photo) 

New Taipei City Mayor Hou Yu-ih visiting a room for medical staff Tuesday (CNA, New Taipei City Government photo) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — New Taipei City Mayor Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) and Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) are receiving the best ratings during their struggles with the current COVID-19 outbreak, according to a Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation (TPOF) poll released Tuesday (May 25).

The survey compared public opinion about the mayors of the six special municipalities during the coronavirus surge, which surfaced on May 15, with both Taipei City and the surrounding city of New Taipei as the worst-hit areas.

In contrast, President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) support had fallen below 50 percent for the first time in her second term, TPOF Chairman Ying-lung You (游盈隆) said. Since May 2020, she has plunged from 71.2 percent to 45.7 percent, the equivalent of losing the support of 5 million voters in just one year.

Asked about the performance of the six mayors, New Taipei City’s Hou received an approval rating of 49.1 percent, followed by Ko at 31.4 percent. Taichung City Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕), like Hou a member of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT), ended up third with 14.6 percent.

The three mayors from President Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Kaohsiung’s Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), Taoyuan’s Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦), and Tainan’s Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲) received 10.6 percent, 8.2 percent, and 4.0 percent, respectively. A total of 10 percent told TPOF that all mayors had done similarly well in the fight against COVID-19.

Different age groups held diverging opinions about the mayors, with the group from 25 to 34 years of age praising Ko, while older survey respondents said Hou was the most effective. No matter what professional background, education level, or ethnic origin the poll participants came from, the majority picked Hou as the best with Ko second, You said.