Monday 26 Oct 2020 | 21:54 | SYDNEY
Monday 26 Oct 2020 | 21:54 | SYDNEY

Taiwan: Splitting the pan-blue vote?


Malcolm Cook

8 November 2011 12:32

Last month, I wrote a post about concerns on the pan-blue side of Taiwan politics (more inclined toward the cross-Strait status quo) about James Soong's plan to run in next year's presidential election and split the pan-blue vote, as happened in 2000.

Rumours are rife of attempts on the pan-blue side to get Soong to not follow through with plans to run for president, in order to not let history repeat itself. The pan-green side (more favourable towards formal independence) seems quite happy with Soong's plan.

However, an opinion poll published yesterday in the pan-blue-leaning China Times suggests that the 2000 scenario of a split pan-blue vote leading to a pan-green victory is not likely. This poll shows that support for Soong is at only 10%. In 2000 he won 37% of the vote.

Even more interesting are the results when Soong is not included. These show President Ma's margin over pan-green challenger Tsai actually decreasing from 4.1% to 3.3% as, oddly, more of Soong's votes are redistributed to the pan-green side than the pan-blue one. This suggests that, if Soong does run again, history could reverse itself rather than repeat.

One cannot read too much into one poll this far out from the election, but it is certainly does whet the appetite for what should be an exciting, unpredictable and important election. Taiwan's active betting markets are trying to work their way through the presidential election permutations as well.

Photo, of Taipei, by Flickr user http2007.