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Jul 2, 2009

Preliminary analysis on 2009 elections

Things are not looking good for the DPP at the county magistrate/mayoral level.

Worst case scenario would involve being completely wiped off the map. Success means holding on to their current count of three seats. Best case scenario for the DPP is winning 5 of the total 17 contested positions, picking up Yilan and Penghu.

First, keep in mind [pdf] that party I.D. tracking polls by Global Views Monthly show about 40% of voters consider themselves pan-blue leaning versus 20% who call themselves pan-green leaning. Another 35% consider themselves centrist. So, despite the current rather grim figures that the Ma administration and the KMT legislative caucus can show for their support, the DPP has a lot more work cut out for them in any election.

Second: County commissioner elections are local elections and, unsurprisingly, result hinge on local issues and individual popularity. That is why you can see overwhelming victories for candidates in some counties, with upward to 70% of the vote going to the winner; he's well known and well liked. More like a club president than a politician at that stage, really.

Third: the DPP positions in Yunlin and Chiayi county are likely threatened by the corruption charges pending against those incumbent county commissioners, who have already been renominated. Chiayi is probably a little safer. Pingtung seat could be lost if the KMT holds down the number of popular blue-leaning candidates to just one. Losing those three seats could mean the whole map is painted blue.

On the potentially positive side, The DPP's Penghu candidate, Cai Chien-hsing (蔡見興), is native to the offshore islands and was a former KMT member who went rogue and then flipped to the green side in 2004. He's been on the Kaohsiung City Council, and a personality like his may be able to win in Penghu, especially considering the KMT incumbent there did not win by much last time around.

The DPP's Ilan candidate Lin Tsong-shyan (林聰賢) is a former Luodong township chief (that's an urban township) who won by large margins. He is also an ancient rival of the current incumbent. He seems like a reasonable choice by the DPP to run and has some shot at winning a seat.

===============

You can expect similarly abysmal results for the DPP at the city council and township chief level, where the KMT and non-partisans have dominated since the days of martial law. Here are the percentage break downs of seats won the level last time elections were held, based on CEC data:


KMTDPPInd.
Other
Township/village chiefs54%
11%
34%
1%
City/county councils45%
21%
28%
5%

Although redistricting will have some effect on exactly who runs and wins in what areas, we can't expect the over all numbers to change a great deal.

So, there you have it! And having taken a hard look at the numbers, I will now go cry a little bit.

8 comments:

Άλισον said...

To understand Taiwan’s elections, readers please re-visit this archival post

http://indiac.blogspot.com/2008/01/taiwan-legislative-election-2008-yet.html

and read all the links from it.

And also check out the references listed on Alison’s comments of June 30, 2009 left at this post

http://www.examiner.com/x-1969-Boston-Progressive-Examiner~y2009m6d25-Dear-President-ObamaIt-is-time-to-end-Taiwans-political-purgatory-and-allow-selfdetermination

Hopefully, Taiwan will one-day have a revamped version of election rules and a new system of division of electoral districts to bring Taiwan’s elections closer in-line with the true spirit of democracy.

Dixteel said...

Just feel really bad reading this.

But perhaps we need to look at it another way...as long as DPP did a little bit better or the same as last county election, it's not the end of the world.

We try to find some justice in the election...that is why we feel bad about this esitmate. But perhaps realistically justice cannot be found in election, especially in Taiwan's election. The only thing we can hope for is if things get a little bit better or don't get any worse.

Do our best and hope for the best I guess...:(

宜蘭民宿 said...

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Tim Maddog said...

A-gu, you pointed out:
- - -
[...] party I.D. tracking polls by Global Views Monthly show about 40% of voters consider themselves pan-blue leaning versus 20% who call themselves pan-green leaning. Another 35% consider themselves centrist.
- - -

It's hard to take that kind of polling at face value. First, Global Views is deep-blue. Second, if they identify themselves when they do their polls (hell, even if they don't), that 20% of the respondents who are willing to identify themselves as pan-green. That relates directly to the martial-law mentality that permeates society -- a mentality which is entirely justified under a returning Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime.

I can only hope that Taiwanese voters won't let this opportunity to vote a few KMT politicians out of office slip away yet again because somebody slipped NT$1,500 or so into their palm.

Tim Maddog

Tim Maddog said...

I seem to have left out a few letters in my comment above.

It should've said something like "that's still 20% of the respondents who are willing to identify themselves as pan-green."

I hope I got it right this time.

Tim Maddog

Thomas said...

I have a question about Global Views' survey too. Is that for all of Taiwan? If so, it doesn't mean that voters in the South are also of that percentage. It also does not indicate a progression in any direction over time.

Also, remember that other things can factor into an election besides party affiliation. If you could decide elections based on surveys such as this, Chen would not have won reelection. Certainly your analysis makes sense for local elections. I would just add that it might not be worth it to get upset over one Global Views poll.

FOARP said...

@Tim - Seriously, dude, yes this is a poll from a pan-blue paper, but 40% versus 20% is huge, land-slide stuff which reflected in other sources (not least last years elections!). Talking about a poorly-defined 'martial law mentality' is whistling past the graveyard, and using a deep-green paper like TT to prove its existence (when it was specifically advocating the renaming of CKS memorial park) is somewhat dubious. I don't know if the voting results will be quite as dire as the poll suggests, but even if they're out by as much as 20-30%, the DPP will still lose by a landslide.

And yes, in case you haven't been watching, this shows that whilst the majority of people are sympathetic to the Taiwanese identity, this does not instantly translate into pan-green support. Why? Because, unlike certain bloggers/newspaper columnists, the Taiwanese people are not fixed on the cross-strait issue and are content with the status quo.

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