Taipei, May 17 (CNA) As President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) approaches the first anniversary of her inauguration, a survey shows that she remains the front runner for the next presidential election even though her disapproval rating is currently higher than her approval rating, a think tank said on Wednesday.
A poll conducted by Taiwan Style Foundation (台灣世代智庫), a think tank founded in 2016 by Chen Ming-wen (陳明文), a legislator from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, indicated that the number of respondents satisfied with Tsai's performance was 41.3 percent, compared with 52.9 percent who said they were dissatisfied.
Despite the high level of dissatisfaction, in a hypothetical three-way race involving Tsai, Terry Gou (郭台銘), chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industry, and Eric Chu (朱立倫), New Taipei Mayor and opposition Kuomintang (KMT) candidate in the 2016 presidential election, the results were Tsai 37.6 percent, Gou 30.1 percent and Chu 15.3 percent.
However, in a three-way race involving Tsai, Chu and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je ( 柯文哲), the results were 31.9 percent for Tsai, 25.8 percent for Chu and 21.8 percent for Ko.
When asked which party they would favor in mayoral and county magistrate elections in 2018, 33.9 percent of respondents chose the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, 23.5 percent are in favor of the KMT and 13.5 percent support non-partisan candidates.
The number of undecided voters accounted for 28.1 percent of the total.
Asked about the six-way KMT chairman election on Saturday, support for the top three candidates was evenly balanced, with former Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) at 22.3 percent, former Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) 21.8 percent and incumbent KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) 21.2 percent, while the support for the other three was lower.
In terms of support for political parties, the DPP was the most popular among voters with 39.4 percent support, followed by the New Power Party (30.3 percent), the KMT (25.2 percent) and the People First Party (23.9 percent).
Meanwhile, the number of respondents opposed to the KMT and the New Power Party outnumbered those who supported the two parties, with 37.5 percent and 33.4 percent respectively.
The survey was conducted between May 13-15 by the Great Society Survey Center at the commission of the foundation. A total of 1,271 effective samples were collected with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.75 percentage points.