With local elections looming at the end of the year, the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation (台灣民意基金會) has released its most recent polling on the Taiwanese voting population’s opinion regarding the two major parties in Taiwan, DPP and KMT. These support level, though we a still a while out from the election, could give us hints on how some of the races will go.

The polling was conducted from February 14th to 15th this year and was conducted via telephone. This was a national poll and contains 1079 valid samples from individuals 20 years of age and older. The margin of error for the poll was +/-2.98, with a 95 percent level of confidence (Tables from the polling used in the article will be pictured at the bottom of the article).

In the most recent polling the DPP has improved upon its commanding lead over the KMT. They control 42.2 percent of the overall support, this is an increase from last month when their totals support tallied up to 36.9 percent. Breaking down their supporters, 28.9 are mildly supportive of the DPP, which is up from last month when the total was 26.8. The DPP’s fervent supporters have also increased, up to 13.3 percent from 10.1 a month ago.

The KMT didn’t have such good results in this polling, in fact all of their already low totals dropped. Their total favorability fell from 23.5 to 18.2 percent. Their fervent support was at 6.7 percent in January, this month it was down to 3.4. Even their tacit supporters slumped to 14.8, down exactly two points from last month’s polling.

These totals seem very good for the DPP and potentially disastrous for the KMT, though you wouldn’t know it if you looked at the current makeup of the government. The KMT still controls a generous portion of seats in the Legislative Yuan, 39 in total, the DPP holds 61 currently. They also currently hold the majority of mayoral and country magistrate seats.

It should also be remembered that these are not the only two parties that have won electoral victories local and nationally. Coalitions have been building and shifting with numerous third parties. During this election cycle it seems that one of the most discussed is the Blue-White alliance, or KMT and TPP, most recently there have been rumblings of such a team up in Kaohsiung. There might be a similar joining of powers in Tainan for the DPP and TSP. Taiwan’s plethora of third parties may be why 35.2 percent of respondents in this polling said that they didn’t support either the KMT or the DPP.

The KMT has undoubtedly lost some support recently, this is at least in part due to their focusing on issues that many voters don’t particularly care about, like ractopamine pork, or being on the wrong sides of major issues (at least electorally speaking). For example, during the recent referendum where the KMT lost on all 4 issues.

However, this is not dooms day for the KMT (whether that makes you cheer or weep), they will still likely be able to get numerous candidates elected in the vast swaths of deep blue country across Taiwan’s various islands.

The DPP is certainly gaining more favor, whether it is through pushes to gain more international recognition like VP Lai traveling to the Americas and the opening up of food imports from Fukushima, or just the work the DPP is trying to do domestically.

With so much time left there is certainly time left for either party to jump out in front, or for a third party to come out of nowhere and surprise everyone. There’s lots of time to make mistakes and fall behind or impress voters and snag new constituents.

Tables from Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation’s February polling (tpof.org)