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Tsai maintains steady lead in three-way presidential race: poll

2015/11/26 11:16:32

From left: DPP candidate Tsai Ing-wen, PFP's James Soong and KMT's Eric Chu.

Taipei, Nov. 26 (CNA) Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), chairwoman of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and its presidential candidate, is leading in a three-way race in the Jan. 16 presidential election, according to the latest public opinion poll conducted by a local newspaper.

The Liberty Times poll shows that Tsai is leading Eric Chu (朱立倫) of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) by 47.86 percent to 13.87 percent, while James Soong (宋楚瑜) of the People First Party (PFP) is trailing at just 6.89 percent.

Compared with a previous poll conducted after Chu replaced Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) as the KMT candidate in mid-October, Tsai has maintained a steady lead, with a support rate increasing by a modest 0.82 percentage points to 47.86 percent from 47.04 percent.

Chu, on the other hand, has shown a marked decline of 5.04 percentage points, dropping to 13.87 percent from 18.91 percent, possibly as a result of controversy surrounding the party's listing of at-large legislators, as well as military housing purchases by his deputy, Wang Ju-hsuan (王如玄).

Soong's support rate also slipped by 0.97 percentage points to 6.89 percent from 7.86 percent.

A cross-analysis shows that among the respondents, of those who traditionally tilted toward the KMT, 65.33 percent said they will support Chu, compared with 6.67 percent who said they will switch to Tsai and 5.33 percent who said they will put their money on Soong.

Among those normally expected to support the DPP, 88.07 percent said they will support Tsai, with 1.42 percent each supporting Chu or Soong.

Among those who voted for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) -- a KMT member -- in the last presidential election in 2012, only 38.29 percent said they will continue to support a KMT candidate, while 21.20 percent said they are inclined to shift toward Tsai, while 12.34 percent said they will vote for Soong.

Among those who voted for Tsai in the last presidential election, up to 90.69 percent will continue to support her, while only 2.13 percent said they will vote for Soong, with 0.53 percent for Chu.

Tsai's support rate also led in all age groups. Taking the age groups of 20-29 and 30-39 as examples, Tsai garnered 49.46 percent and 47.87 percent, respectively, ahead of Chu's 11.83 percent and 11.17 percent.

In the party votes for at-large legislative seats, the DPP support rate is also leading the KMT at 37.52 percent to 16.85 percent, while the PFP, New Power Party, Taiwan Solidarity Union, Green Party and Social Democratic Party Coalition and Minkuotang have support rates of 3.72 percent, 1.96 percent, 1.86 percent, 0.47 percent and 0.37 percent, respectively.

The poll was conducted Nov. 23-25 and collected 1.074 effective samples, with a margin of error of plus and minus 2.99 percentage points.

(By Lilian Wu)