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Popularity rankings of local officials reshuffled in Taiwan opinion poll

CommonWealth Magazine announces latest survey results on satisfaction with mayors and magistrates

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Pingtung County Magistrate Pan Men-an has topped the CommonWealth Magazine's opinion poll ranking for three years in a row.

Pingtung County Magistrate Pan Men-an has topped the CommonWealth Magazine's opinion poll ranking for three years in a row. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) ranked last among the country's 22 mayors and magistrates in a new survey conducted by CommonWealth Magazine, while Pingtung County Magistrate Pan Men-an (潘孟安) topped the list once more.

Chiayi City Mayor Huang Min-hui (黃敏惠) ranked second on the list, Chiayi County Magistrate Weng Chang-liang (翁章梁) third, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) dropped three places to rank fifth, and Taichung City Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) ranked 16th. Kaohsiung City Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), who was ranked for the first time since taking office, ranked 19th on the list.

One major factor that affected the changes in ranking, according to the magazine, has been the impact of COVID-19. This is especially highlighted in the case of Taoyuan City Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦), who ranked third last year but fell to 10th this year.

As the 2022 local elections approach, the public is beginning to pay more attention to the past and present performances of mayors and magistrates, and the opinion poll rankings have reflected some changes to the popularity of officials. The magazine said in an analysis that various mayors from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) who were once favored and even considered strong candidates for key central government positions in the future have fallen from grace, while eight out of 14 mayors and magistrates from the Kuomintang (KMT) have moved up on the list.

Meanwhile, in the magazine's “2021 Happy City Survey,” Taipei City topped the list for special municipalities once again, and Lienchiang County (Matsu) topped the list for other cities and counties.

Some of the major complaints common with citizens across Taiwan include high real estate prices, congested traffic, and air pollution, reported the magazine.

CommonWealth has conducted yearly opinion polls since 2003, and the poll has become an authoritative indicator often cited by Taiwanese media.

Citizens care the most about economic performance in their hometown, according to the magazine. The better a city or a county does economically, the more satisfied citizens are with their mayor or magistrate.

The 2021 edition of the survey was divided into two categories in which opinion polls make up 90% of the total score and expert analysis makes up 10%. The opinion poll was conducted over the telephone and asked the respondents their opinion on six questions, including satisfaction with overall policy (35% of the total score), as well as the economy, environment, policy, education, and social welfare (each making up 11% of the total score).