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Taiwan’s DPP outpolls other parties in favorability, while KMT sinks into gloom

Relative newcomer TPP appears to be gaining in favorability ratings

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KMT headquarters.

KMT headquarters. (Taiwan News photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A recent poll shows that the affection of Taiwanese for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has dwindled over the past year as measured by the “feeling thermometer,” while the main opposition party — the Kuomintang (KMT) — has sunk to alarming lows after three years of consecutive freefall.

The feeling thermometer is a common survey tool used by American researchers to measure the feelings of respondents about a given politician or party, according to You Ying-lung (游盈隆) of the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation (TPOF). At a press conference on Wednesday (Oct. 6), You said the tool has been proven to be effective in understanding the three presidential elections in Taiwan since 2012.

On this 0-to-100-degree scale, where 50 indicates "no feeling at all" and 60 stands for "a bit of a favorable feeling," the DPP hit 53.19 on average, followed by the KMT's 45.10 and the Taiwan People's Party's (TPP) 47.28 — which was listed in the survey for the first time.

Looking into the demographics of the respondents, You observed that the older the respondent, the higher they rated the DPP, while the younger generation have just "a bit of a favorable feeling" or even "no feeling at all" toward the party. Meanwhile, there was a slight fall in the favorability of the DPP overall compared to last year, which is a trend worth watching, he said.

On the other hand, up to 70% of respondents have either “a bit of an unfavorable feeling” or “quite an unfavorable feeling” toward the KMT, and that is a very bad sign for a party vying for the leadership in early 2024, You said. In the context of years-long poor performance in the ratings, "It is definitely difficult for the KMT to challenge the still powerful DPP," he added.

You was impressed by the ratings of the two-year-old TPP, which is led by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and is the third-largest political party in the Legislative Yuan. "Although the young political party outperformed the KMT in the poll, the party has yet to garner sufficient recognition to compete with the ruling party," he commented.

The survey was conducted for the TPOF by Focus Survey Research (山水民意研究公司) from Sept. 22 to Sept. 23. The poll gathered 1,080 valid responses from adults over 20 years of age via telephone and had a sampling error of plus or minus 2.98% with a confidence level of 95%.