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May 30, 2017

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Both KMT, DPP fail to win voters' hearts: poll

TAIPEI -- The ruling Kuomintang (KMT) had a remarkably bad showing in a public opinion poll conducted by a think tank with ties to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) — but surprisingly, the DPP fared fairly poorly itself.

The survey by the Taiwan Brain Trust, a think tank established by senior DPP member Koo Kwang-ming, found that only 13.5 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the KMT's performance, while a whopping 77.8 percent were not.

The ruling party earned what support it had due to "party identification," cross strait policy and its approach to the economy. Most critics, meanwhile, pointed their fingers at ineffectual governance, followed by disappointing economic policies and perceived corruption.

The DPP won only 36.6 percent approval, though the number of people expressing disappointment with the opposition party was much lower at 46.3 percent.

"The result is worth review for the DPP," Taiwan Brain Trust Chairman Wu Rong-i said.

Society has high expectations for the DPP that the party failed to meet, he said. An economist, Wu served as vice premier in 2005-2006 under the DPP administration of then-President Chen Shui-bian.

Supporters cited the DPP's Taiwan-centric stance, support for farmers and workers, and commitment to democracy; but others were made unhappy by infighting among the party's factions and a perceived lack of direction in policies — especially in regards to China — and a scarcity of skilled politicians.

An astoundingly high number of respondents, nearly 80 percent, said they were unsure exactly what the DPP's economic policies are.

In terms of the major area of China policies, both parties failed to win wide support.

Just over half said they were not happy with the KMT's cross-strait policies at 58.1 percent of respondents, while 22.1 percent said they were satisfied.

The DPP showed a similar trend, with 43.1 percent disappointed and only 22.9 percent contented.

The survey was conducted Jan. 9-11 among randomly-selected adults over the age of 20 across the country. A total of 1,078 valid samples were collected with a margin of error of plus-or-minus three percentage points.

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