President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would beat Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) by a small margin in next year’s presidential election if they are the only candidates, a poll released by the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation showed yesterday.
In a two-way presidential race between Tsai of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Han — both of whom won their party primaries — 45 percent of voters would cast their ballot for Tsai, while 40.1 percent would back Han, the poll showed.
Yet, if Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) joined the race, the margin between Tsai and Han would be reduced to within the margin of error, it showed.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
In a three-way race between Tsai, Han and Ko, 33.5 percent of respondents said they would vote for Han, while 32.6 percent would back Tsai and 25.5 percent would support Ko, the poll showed.
In a four-way presidential race between Tsai, Han, Ko and Gou, 29.7 percent of voters would choose Tsai, 29.3 percent would back Han, 18.3 percent would support Ko and 15.9 percent would prefer Gou, it showed.
Compared with poll results released by the foundation last month, Tsai’s lead over Han has decreased.
Tsai led Han by more than five percentage points in both a two-way and three-way race, the previous poll showed.
Tsai’s job approval rate declined by nearly five percentage points from 47.7 percent last month to 42.8 percent, the poll showed.
Approval for Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) dropped from 52.4 percent last month to 48 percent, it showed.
Forty percent of respondents identified themselves as supporters of the DPP, while 38.8 percent said they supported the KMT and 17.5 percent said they are independent voters, the foundation said.
Tsai’s lead over Han in a two-way race is a not strong, foundation chairman Michael You (游盈隆) said, adding that if Ko joins the election, the margin between them makes it unclear who would win.
The election would be further complicated if Gou runs as an independent, You said.
While poll results suggest that Gou would have the lowest support rate of the four, he could draw votes from Han and Ko, giving Tsai an advantage, he said.
Whether Ko and Gou would join the race is an important factor, he said.
The poll, conducted from Monday to Tuesday last week, gathered 1,089 valid samples and has a margin of error of 2.97 percentage points.
Separately yesterday, Ko said a new poll showing that his approval rate is better than Tsai’s was intended to lure him into the race.
The poll by Want Want China Times Media Group showed that if Ko runs for president against Tsai and Han, his approval would be second behind Han.
“The China Times is trying to lure me into running for president,” Ko told reporters.
Asked to comment on former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu’s (朱立倫) remark that the KMT would be doomed in the election if Gou runs as an independent, Ko said it would be okay if the KMT were doomed, but Taiwan cannot be doomed.
Additional reporting by Lee I-chia
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