Taipei, June 13 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is to represent the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the 2020 presidential election after beating by 8.2 percentage points her sole challenger, former Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德), in the party's primary, the result of which was released Thursday.
Speaking at a press conference in Taipei, DPP Chairman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) said Tsai received an average support rate of 35.67 percent from five different polls conducted in a three-way manner, while Lai garnered 27.48 percent.
The poll compared the popularity of Lai and Tsai against the popularity of both independent Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT).
Tsai's rating was higher than that of Ko and Han in the polls, who received support rates of 22.7 percent and 24.51 percent, respectively.
When compared with Lai in another of the poll questions, Ko and Han garnered support ratings of 27.38 percent and 23.47 percent on average.
The polls were conducted by five different polling companies, which collected a combined total of 16,051 valid samples through cellphone and landline-based interviews, accounting for 7,995 and 8,056 samples, respectively.
The time period for the conduct of the primary polls was originally set from Monday to Friday, but the polling firms managed to collect the required number of samples by Wednesday evening.
The DPP's presidential primary has been conflict-laden, mostly because of the party's Central Executive Committee's decision in late May to include for the first time cellphone-based interviews in its primary polls.
It was believed by some in the party that the new rule would tilt the competition in Tsai's favor because many young people, among whom the president enjoys a relatively high support rating, only use cellphones.
It was also the first time in the DPP's history that a sitting president seeking re-election had faced a challenge from within their own party.