TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Kuomintang (KMT) and the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) have been unable to agree on a presidential candidate due to disagreements over polling data.
Originally, the Ma Ying-jeou Foundation was set to announce the results on Saturday (Nov. 18) morning, revealing whether Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) of the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) or Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) from the Kuomintang (KMT) would lead the joint ticket.
This arrangement was reached on Wednesday, stipulating an analysis of public opinion polls conducted between Nov. 11-17 and assigning points to the candidates.
However, on Friday, an examination of the six polls revealed discrepancies in the margin of error and survey methodologies. The KMT claimed that Hou received five points, while Ko received one point. The TPP, however, insisted it was a tie, per CNA. As a result, the two parties will engage in further consultations to resolve the disagreement.
At a press conference on Saturday, Ko clarified the KMT anticipated a concession of 6 percentage points from him, contrasting with the 3% he had suggested.
Both parties have decided on additional discussions until Friday (Nov. 24), the final day for candidate registration. Ko said that all possibilities remain open, including the potential inclusion of independent candidate Terry Gou (郭台銘), who enjoys a support base of 7% to 10%.
Polls results released by the TPP. (Facebook, Ko Wen-je video screenshot)
Poll results released by the KMT. (Facebook, KMT image)
Controversy has already arisen because of the closed-door nature of the agreement. There are reports of discontent within the Ko camp regarding the extent of concessions made.
Furthermore, supporters aligned with Ko have expressed disappointment at the prospect of him being a vice-presidential candidate.
Ko, who is running neck and neck with Hou in recent polls, acknowledges the challenge of garnering support for a relatively smaller political party like the TPP. He concedes that collaboration between the opposition parties is necessary to challenge the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Lai Ching-te (賴清德) from the DPP maintains a stable lead in polls, securing approximately 30% of support. While Ko is seen as more appealing to young voters, some have said that they might abstain from voting if Ko assumes a secondary role.