Poll puts Ko 20 percent ahead of Lien
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-07-02 03:52 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – An opinion poll published by the Chinese-language Liberty Times Wednesday put opposition Taipei City mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je about 20 percent ahead of Kuomintang contender Sean Lien.

If the November 29 election were held now, Ko would receive 43.69 percent of the vote and Lien 23.83 percent, the newspaper wrote. Former Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Shen Fu-hsiung, who recently announced an independent bid, would receive 8.24 percent, while 24.23 percent of voters had not yet made up their mind.

The gap between Ko and Lien is one of the largest since polling started several months ago. Lien won a KMT primary earlier this year, while Ko won a round of surveys pitting him against DPP lawmaker Yao Wen-chih, resulting in the main opposition party pledging him its support even though he remains officially an independent.

A spokeswoman for the Ko camp expressed optimism, saying that not only his general support in opinion surveys was rising, but also the proportion of people actually thinking he would win. Until recently, a larger number of poll respondents still estimated that Lien had the best chance of winning as Taipei City was a KMT stronghold. According to the newspaper poll, 37.24 percent said Ko was most likely to win the election, while 29.79 percent picked Lien and 2.09 percent Shen.

Ko, an outspoken 55-year-old surgeon, said it was fine to look at opinion poll results but in the end he would still have to continue his efforts to reach out to the public.

A spokesman for Lien, 44, the son of former Vice President Lien Chan, said his main concern was to listen to the concerns of voters and to find solutions to their problems. Lien compared the election race to a basketball game, with players able to turn a 20-point lag in the first half into a victory by the end of the second half.

Asked about the Liberty Times poll results Wednesday, Lien told reporters he would continue to focus his efforts on the concerns of the elderly, the middle-aged and the young in the capital.

Ko said the opinion survey was the latest evidence that the residents of Taipei City hungered for change. The capital has been ruled by KMT mayors for the past 16 years.

Both candidates appeared at an urban renewal forum but did not interact, reports said.

The Liberty Times said it conducted the opinion poll by phone on the evenings of June 27, June 30 and July 1, with 1,055 valid responses and a margin of error of 3.02 percent.

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