Taipei, July 15 (CNA) The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is widely perceived as being better than the Kuomintang (KMT) at advancing reforms but lagged behind the opposition party in its perceived ability to govern the country, a survey has found.
Those and other findings were detailed by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation on Sunday based on the results of a nationwide survey it conducted from July 9 to 11 on the public's attitude toward Taiwan's two major political parties.
In 10 areas in which respondents were asked which of the two outperformed the other, the DPP received higher support than the KMT in seven, with the biggest edge seen in its resolve to carry out reforms.
About 45.9 percent of the survey's respondents said they considered the DPP to be more resolute and determined on the issue, compared to 14.1 percent who felt the KMT was more dedicated to reform, according to the survey.
The DPP had a 22.9 percentage-point edge over the KMT on which party valued freedom and human rights more and a 20.1 percentage-point edge on which party cared more about the environment and environmental protection.
But when it came to comparing the ability of the two parties to govern the country, strengthen the economy and manage relations with China, more respondents gave the nod to the KMT than to the DPP.
About 35.2 percent of respondents said the KMT was more capable of governing the country while 22 percent favored the DPP, and 40.1 percent said the KMT was more capable of dealing with economic challenges compared to 17.6 who said the DPP was, the survey found.
The KMT's biggest edge came in relations with China, with 57.8 percent of respondents saying the KMT was better at handling cross-Taiwan Strait ties, while 10.1 percent of respondents gave the advantage to the DPP, the survey found.
The DPP had a 9.3 percentage-point edge when respondents were asked which party was more idealistic and a 9 percentage-point edge on the question of which party was less corrupt.
The results were the tightest on questions asking which party best represented the interests of the people of Taiwan and ordinary citizens, with the DPP prevailing by 4.3 percentage points and 3.9 percentage points, respectively, according to the results.
Another major finding of the survey was that 49.6 percent of respondents said they were "neutral or independent" voters not affiliated with either the pan-blue or pan-green political parties, up from 43.7 percent last month and the highest percentage ever.
It also found that 25.2 percent of respondents leaned toward the pan-green camp's DPP, down from 29.5 percent last month and the lowest level of support for the party since the survey began in May 2016.
The percentage of respondents identifying with the KMT also declined to 20.7 percent, from 23.2 percent in last month's poll.
Asked whether it was necessary for Taiwan to have a viable third party as an alternative to either the DPP or the KMT, about 57 percent of respondents said yes, 36 percent said no, and 7 percent had no opinion.