TAIPEI (CNA) – President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) approval rating fell from October to November, while support for Lai Ching-teh (賴清德), the premier she picked two months ago, climbed, indicating the public generally believes Lai is doing a good job, according to poll results released on Sunday.
Tsai’s approval rating was 38.6 percent this month, down 5.1 percentage points from the 43.7 percent she received in October, according to the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation survey.
The poll also showed that 39.8 percent of respondents disapproved of the president’s performance, up 2.5 percent points month on month.
The figures indicate that the number of people dissatisfied with Tsai’s performance is 1.2 percentage points higher than that of those who approve, according to the survey results.
“It’s not a good thing,” said You Ying-lung (游盈隆), chairman of the Taipei-based organization, which has conducted a monthly survey on the Tsai government’s performance since it took office in May 2016.
The pollster wondered out loud whether the fall in approval for Tsai is related to a recent governmental procurement scandal, under which a local shipbuilder was contracted to build six minesweepers for the Navy. The builder has since been accused of defaulting on a massive syndicated loan by taking advantage of the contract.
Despite diminishing public satisfaction with Tsai, Premier Lai received a relatively high job approval rating of 59.7 percent, while 27.2 percent disapproved.
Lai’s November approval rating represented a rise of 2 percentage points from the previous month. However, his disapproval rating was 6 percentage points higher than the previous month, the survey showed.
You said that while few Cabinet members have an approval rating anywhere near 60 percent, Lai’s role as a “relief pitcher” seems to have so far been successful.
Asked about the poll results, Presidential Office spokesman Sidney Lin (林鶴明) said surveys have different meaning and value. “For Taiwan at this moment, the most urgent task is to promote and complete all major reforms.” “As for similar public surveys, we will pay close attention to those that are worthy of being referenced,” Lin said.
The survey was conducted from Nov. 13-15 via telephone interviews with randomly-selected adults aged 20 or over nationwide. A total of 1,074 valid samples were collected, with a confidence level at 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.99 percentage points.
By Sophia Yeh and Elizabeth Hsu