TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) on Wednesday (Nov. 8) presented three opinion polls showing him defeating Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德).
Opinion surveys have been a bone of contention in efforts by Ko and Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) to ally for the Jan. 13 presidential and legislative elections. Ko wants polls to decide the choice of candidate, while the KMT has insisted on a combination with open primaries.
Ko presented the results of three different polls to the media Wednesday, with him winning each of the surveys pitting him against Lai, while Hou only won one poll against the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate, UDN reported. On average, Ko finished 8.63% ahead of Hou.
If the KMT and the TPP join forces and nominate Ko as their presidential candidate, he would defeat Lai by 4.83%, per CNA. However, if Hou became the nominee for both opposition parties, he would still lose by 3.8%, according to Ko. The polls were conducted Nov. 3-7 and collected more than 3,000 valid samples.
The TPP leader accused the KMT of putting party interest above national interest, and of only trying to defeat him, and not Lai. Ko said the two political parties had a different DNA, with him only concerned about finding the best way to win the presidential election.
Responding to Ko’s comments, Hou said there had also been opinion polls showing him in the lead. The KMT candidate said polls were only there to take into consideration, so he would continue on his path, per Radio Taiwan International (RTI).
Both sides have emphasized there is no deadline for their efforts to join forces. However, registration for presidential candidates and their running mates will begin at the Central Election Commission (CEC) on Nov. 20.