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Incumbent New Taipei City mayor remains frontrunner

TAIPEI--Incumbent New Taipei Mayor Eric Liluan Chu (朱立倫) remained the frontrunner for the mayoral election, according to a poll by Taiwan's Apple Daily on Tuesday, the day Chu formally announced his candidacy for re-election.

Conducted last week but published just hours after the announcement, the poll indicated that Chu, a member of the ruling Kuomintang, enjoys a comfortable lead over former Premier Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃), a hopeful from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Asked to choose between the two aspirants, 55.47 percent of respondents gave their support to Chu against 25.6 percent who supported Yu. The remaining 18.9 percent did not express a preference.

Asked if they would still vote for Chu in the mayoral election if he plans to run for president in 2016 — and thereby not finish his term — 45.73 percent of all respondents still said “yes,” while 32.56 percent said “no” and 21.71 percent had no opinion.

Based on a 100-point scale, 47 percent of respondents gave Chu's performance over his first term a score of 80 or above, including 11 percent who gave him full marks.

Chu's policy of expanding the metro network in Taiwan's most populous city received the highest approval ratings (25.78 percent), followed by his policy for daycare for children and the elderly (21.07 percent).

The survey was conducted June 16-17 on 1,125 adults in New Taipei.

Chu is expected to go up against a challenger selected from the DPP-led opposition for the November election.

The DPP and its smaller ally, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), are planning to pick a coalition candidate — either the DPP's Yu or former TSU Legislator Lin Jih-jia (林志嘉) — through opinion polls.

Dashing speculation that he might run for president in 2016, Chu said early Tuesday that he will finish the four-year term if he is re-elected on Nov. 29 this year.

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