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Poll shows Ko-Hou combo could KO Lai for Taiwan presidency

Ko-Hou ticket received 49.8% support, while Lai-Hsiao pairing only garnered 38%

Lai Ching-te (left), Hou Yu-ih, and Ko Wen-je.

Lai Ching-te (left), Hou Yu-ih, and Ko Wen-je. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A new poll has found that although Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) is currently in a position to easily defeat his three opponents in the Taiwan presidential election, respondents favored a combination of Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and New Taipei City Mayor and Kuomintang (KMT) pick Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) over Lai, with either candidate at the top of the ticket.

City Development Communication Association Chairman Hsieh Li-kung (謝立功) on Wednesday held a press conference to announce a survey the organization had conducted on the 2024 Taiwanese presidential election, reported Liberty Times. The poll's results showed that in a four-way race, Lai received the most support from prospective voters at 30.1%, followed by Ko at 24.5%, Hou at 17.3%, and Foxconn Founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) at 11.3%.

However, when survey participants were asked if the TPP and KMT combined forces and Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) ran with Lai as vice president, a Ko-Hou ticket received 49.8% support, while a Lai-Hsiao pairing only received 38%. Lai-Hsiao fared slightly better at 40.2% support against Hou-Ko pairing, but the latter still came out ahead at 46.4%.

Hsieh claimed that this indicates that the majority of voters seek a KMT-TPP alliance to remove the DPP and achieve a change in government, especially the paring of Ko and Hou, which garnered the support of nearly 50%. Hsieh added that those who support the Ko-Hou pairing tend to have the following characteristics: they have household registrations in Yilan, Hualien, or Taitung counties; are aged between 20 and 39; have an educational level of university or higher; and lean towards the KMT, TPP, or New Power Party (NPP).

On the other hand, Hsieh said those who support the Lai-Hsiao ticket tend to have different characteristics: they have household registrations in Kaoshiung City, Pingtung County, or Penghu County; are 40 years old or older; have an education level of primary school or lower; and lean towards political parties like the DPP and Taiwan Statebuilding Party (TSP).

In a three-way race with Gou excluded, Lai received 32.2% support, followed by Ko at 30.4%, Hou at 22.6%, and 14.8% are undecided. The poll shows that under this scenario, Lai only leads Ko by 1.8%, but is well ahead of Hou by 7.8%.

In a four-way race with Gou included, Lai garnered 30.1% support, followed by Ko at 24.5%, Hou at 17.3%, Gou at 11.3%, and 16.8% undecided. According to Hsieh, the latest poll shows that support for Ko has continued to increase since he returned from the U.S.

As for support rates for political parties among respondents, the DPP came in first at 26.9%, but the KMT was close behind at 26.2%. The TPP had 20.2% support, followed by the NPP at 5.0%, and the TSP at 3.9%.

The poll gathered valid responses from 1,818 adults including 917 landline and 901 mobile phone responses from Sept. 27 - Oct. 2, 2023. It had a sampling error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points with a confidence level of 95%.