Taiwan’s Presidential Race: DPP’s Lai Ching-te Maintains Lead Amid Declining Support
Latest Polls Reflect Shifting Political Dynamics
As Taiwan gears up for its presidential elections in January 2024, frontrunner Lai Ching-te of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) continues to lead the race despite a noticeable decrease in support, according to the most recent survey by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation (TPOF). As of September 26, Lai held 31.4% of the vote, followed by Taiwan People’s Party candidate Ko Wen-je with 23.1%, and Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Hou Yu-ih at 15.7%. At the bottom of the list was independent candidate Terry Gou, founder of Foxconn, with 10.5% support.
A Dip in Support for Lai Ching-te
Interestingly, Lai’s support has seen a significant drop of over 10% compared to the previous TPOF poll. This decrease is largely attributed to the recent controversy over imported eggs, leading to the resignation of Taiwan’s agriculture minister Chen Chi-chung and the planned destruction of over 54 million imported eggs. The crisis response was met with dissatisfaction from over 56% of the respondents, potentially impacting Lai’s popularity.
Gains for Ko Wen-je and Rise in Undecided Voters
While most candidates witnessed a decline in support, Ko Wen-je of the TPP was the only one to see an increase, gaining around 3% since August. Furthermore, the number of undecided voters also surged significantly from 7.4% in August to 13.6% in the current poll. This indicates a possible shift in voter sentiment and uncertainty, which could alter the course of the election.
Party Support Outweighs Candidate Backing
Despite individual candidate standings, both the DPP and KMT parties received higher support than their respective candidates. Over 30% of respondents favored the DPP, just over 23% supported the KMT, and 17.1% backed the TPP. This suggests that while voters may have reservations about individual candidates, party loyalty remains strong.
Other Issues and Public Opinion
In addition to the presidential race, the TPOF also gauged public opinion on various other issues. These included the wastewater release from the Fukushima nuclear power plant and China’s response to it. Such issues may also influence voter sentiment as the election draws closer.
Looking Ahead to the 2024 Election
With the presidential election scheduled for January 2024, these poll results offer a snapshot of the current political climate in Taiwan. However, with a noticeable rise in undecided voters and shifting support among the candidates, the final outcome remains unpredictable. With several months left until the election, candidates will be working diligently to sway undecided voters and solidify their support base in this competitive race.
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