Hung steers clear of latest opinion poll speculations
Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (
), the only Kuomintang ( KMT) member in the running for the party’s presidential primary reacted conservatively to an opinion poll released yesterday showing her ahead of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen ( ) should the two face off in the January 2016 presidential election.
The opinion poll, conducted by the local Apple Daily, showed that close to 55 percent of those polled supported Hung as the KMT’s presidential candidate. In a separate question pitting Hung against the confirmed DPP contender Tsai, Hung finished ahead, 50 percent to 28 percent for Tsai. Another 21 percent of those polled said they had no opinion or did not know who they would vote for.
Hung responded by saying that she would not be made optimistic or pessimistic due to the results of the opinion poll. She reiterated that since her candidacy had yet to be approved by the KMT Central Standing Committee, even if she were to be finally nominated by the party, half a year’s time before polling could bring many possible changes.
Meanwhile, members within the KMT’s higher echelons expressed suspicion of the opinion poll results, citing the possibility that the opposing political parties had distorted the polling results. Earlier polls in recent days had shown Hung well behind Tsai in popularity. In response to their suspicions, Hung remarked with a smile: “Is it that easy to distort a poll?”
Hung’s rising popularity in recent weeks has been seen as a quandary for the ruling KMT, with none of its so-called “A-list” party members, including chairman Eric Chu ( ) and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng ( ) having backed out of entering the party primary. Hung was the first party member to register in April, and the only one to submit a sufficient number of valid party member signatures required for a chance in representing the party.
Early conflicts between Hung and her party included the questions within the opinion poll to be conducted by the KMT to validate her candidacy. Party central has proposed that the poll be conducted as a faceoff between Hung and Tsai, while Hung has protested that notion, favoring one that gauged the public’s support for her capacity as the KMT’s only contender. She has also faced foot-dragging from party headquarters, which only recently agreed after extensive negotiations to allow Hung to present her political platform to the Central Standing Committee and conduct a party-run opinion poll to gauge her electoral chances. She accused the party of contradictions between its words and actions, exclaiming that “changing the rules in the middle of a match? That’s not fair.” Party leader Chu said yesterday that the allocation ratio of the final opinion poll could still be discussed with Hung.
Hung is expected to present her platform publically on June 10, with the final opinion poll organized by the party to be held on June 12 and 13.
Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu ( ) speaks to reporters at the Legislature, yesterday. An opinion poll conducted by local media showed Hung well ahead of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen ( ) should the two faceoff in the 2016 presidential election.