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Poll shows DPP as favorite for Taiwan presidency, KMT for legislature

TPP's Ko down about 10 points according to new poll, KMT's Hou continues to rise

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

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

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Lai Ching-te (賴清德) remains the frontrunner in Taiwan’s presidential race according to a new poll, while results show the Kuomintang (KMT) taking the most legislative seats.

Meanwhile, support for Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has fallen nearly ten points compared to last month. KMT candidate Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) continues to gain ground on the DPP’s Lai.

My Formosa released the poll on Monday (Dec. 4) that showed Lai ahead with 36.6%, followed by Hou with 30.5%, and Ko with 17.7%. Lai’s support is up around five points from last month’s poll, while Hou is steadily building support since it bottomed out at 17% in August.

The poll was taken in the days after the TPP and KMT failed to agree on a joint presidential run in November. Telephone interviews were used to survey 1,076 people throughout each of Taiwan’s cities and counties, producing a 3% margin of error.

On the parties themselves, 43.4% of respondents said they wanted to see a change of the ruling party after next year’s election, while 33.4% said the DPP should remain. Of those who said they wanted a change, about 29% said the KMT should hold the presidency and 14.5% said the TPP, with the remaining responses unclear.

Meanwhile, out of the three candidates, just under 33% said they would never vote for Lai, while about 25% said the same for Ko, and 17% said the same for Hou.

As the DPP’s Lai has framed the election as a choice between autocracy and democracy, the KMT has framed it as a choice for either war or peace. Polling showed that Lai’s framing was more agreeable to voters, with 36.5% who said they see it that way, down slightly from August.

Conversely, support for Hou’s framing of the election grew marginally, to 29%. About 7% said they thought the war-peace and democracy-autocracy dichotomies were both relevant to the election, and about 18% said neither were.

Poll shows DPP as favorite for Taiwan presidency, KMT for legislature
(Taiwan News image)

Despite Lai’s leading position in the polls, respondents overwhelmingly said they believe if he and running mate Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) are elected next January, cross-strait relations would deteriorate with the greatest chance, and the chances of China mounting a blockade on Taiwan within the next four years would increase.

Nearly half of all respondents said the Lai-Hsiao pairing would more likely cause this, while only 5.4% said Hou would, and 2.9% said Ko would. My Formosa said the public’s opinion on this issue has not changed since the same question was asked in May and August, representing the concerns and pressures the majority of people face.

Taiwan will elect members of the legislature in addition to a president in January 2024, and 32.1% of respondents said they would vote for KMT candidates. That was followed by 29.5% who said they would vote for DPP candidates, 7.5% for TPP candidates, and about 3% for other minor parties or independents.

For list candidates, the KMT again came out on top, with just over 33% saying they would vote to elect the parties’ non-district aligned candidates. The DPP followed at just under 30%, while over 13% said they would support the TPP.

My Formosa analysis showed people in Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli, or those with university degrees have a clear preference for KMT legislators. Those in Kaohsiung and Pingtung, or those with an elementary school education, have a clear preference for the DPP.