Incumbent Taoyuan magistrate enjoys 23-point lead, says poll


TAIPEI — Wu Chih-yang (�d�Ӵ�), chief of Taoyuan County, has a 23-point lead over his opponent in the run-up to Nov. 29 local elections, according to the results of a survey released Thursday.

Some 48 percent of the voters in the northern Taiwan county support Wu, who is a member of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), in his bid to become the first mayor of Taoyuan when it is elevated to a special municipality in December, according to the poll conducted by the United Daily News, one of Taiwan’s four major daily newspapers.

That compares with 25 percent in favor of Cheng Wen-tsan (�G����), a former information minister and the candidate of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Another 25 percent of the voters remain undecided and only about 1 percent support a third candidate �X Hsu Rui-chih.

The election will be a rematch between the two main parties in Taoyuan after Wu beat Cheng in December 2009 with 52 percent of the vote.

Wu, 45, is a son of Wu Po-hsiung, a KMT elder whose long political career includes stints as Taoyuan magistrate, Taipei mayor, interior minister and KMT chairman.

The poll appears to indicate that Wu’s chances of winning the election have not been seriously affected by a corruption scandal involving his deputy, Yeh Shih-wen (���@��), who has been detained since July on charges of taking bribes from a major construction company.

In addition to indicating a voting trend tilting in Wu’s favor, the result of the survey also shows that 66 percent of the poll respondents in Taoyuan believe that Wu will get elected, compared with only 8 percent who expect Cheng to win.

A total of 1,071 randomly selected adult residents in Taoyuan were interviewed last week for the poll, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent, the paper said.

The Taoyuan mayoral race is part of the 9-in-1 local elections to be held all around Taiwan that are being billed as a decisive battle before the 2016 presidential and legislative elections.

The race in Taoyuan �X with a population of more than 2 million �X is important because it is an election the KMT cannot afford to lose. Polls in Other Municipalities

Of the six municipalities in Taiwan, soon to include Taoyuan, the KMT currently controls Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan and Taichung, whereas the DPP holds Tainan and Kaohsiung.

With both the DPP incumbents expected to win re-election, any gain in the four other municipalities will be a boost to the opposition and a blow to the KMT.

A similar United Daily News poll released two days earlier showed that, in Taipei, Ko Wen-je (�_����), an independent candidate, had a 13-point advantage over Sean Lien (�s�Ӥ�), who is seeking to keep the city for the KMT after Mayor Hau Lung-bin (�q�s�y) steps down in December.

A poll on the election in New Taipei, also conducted by the newspaper, showed that incumbent Mayor Eric Chu (���߭�) has a similar advantage �X 49 percent to 26 percent �X as enjoyed by Wu, and that some 67 percent of the voters in the city expect Chu to win another four-year term.

Only 9 percent believe his opponent Yu Shyi-kun (����堃), a former premier, will win.