It pretty much became official today that former Premier Su Tseng-chang, the popular DPP politician, will run for mayor of Taipei at the end of the year. The formal nominating process remains to be completed, though it is all but certain Su will be the man. Su is widely considered the only DPP politician popular enough in the north to compete for either the Presidency, the mayoralty of Taipei, or the mayoralty of the new municipality, New North City (Xinbei), which comes into existence at the beginning of next year. Hence, there had been much media speculation about which post he would pick. If he wins the Taipei mayor election, he will be mayor, but it is generally held that Taipei is Blue and he will likely lose, leaving him free to run for president in 2012, and still keeping him in the public eye for months during the Taipei City election season.
I don't approve of this move at all. I had been hoping they would save Su to stump for the candidates in the two municipalities, and run him against Ma in 2012. It is absolutely imperative to defeat Ma in 2012. The municipalities are important, but Ma must go.
Below I've collected the vote counts for the mayor elections in 1994, 1998, 2002, and 2006.
KMT 692,085 (53.81)
DPP 525,869 (40.89)
Other 68,135 ( 5.30)
KMT 873102 (64.1)
DPP 488811 (35.9)
KMT 766377 (51.1)
DPP 688072 (45.9)
KMT 364618 (25.9)
DPP 615090 (43.7)
New 424905 (30.2)
Turnout was 64% in the most recent election, it had been around 70% previously. The current mayor, Hau, is lackluster and does not bring out Blue voters like Ma Ying-jeou did.
As you can see, the Blue vote typically runs 51-55% of the total vote, except for the anomalous 2002 election when Ma won a crushing victory. The DPP typically gets 40-45%. This means that if 5% of the votes shift from the KMT to the DPP, the DPP has a good shot at a win. If 10% of the Blue vote stays home, the DPP will win -- and Blue voters are staying home in droves at present. If the logic of this move is to keep Su in the game for 2012, then it is a gambling on the whim of 5% of the electorate.
Another way to look at is look at the DPP vote peak in 1998 -- 688K, and the KMT vote last time around, 692K. That is a difference of just 4,000 votes. Hau Lung-bin, the current mayor and probable candidate, lacks the popularity Ma enjoyed, and there is no reason at present to think we will see a significant gain in KMT voters for this election. If Su reaches the DPP high, and the KMT performance is lackluster, just a couple of thousand voters have to switch to make Su the mayor. And the DPP has been doing well lately.....
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- After FTA with China, Indonesia suddenly discovers its industries are being crushed and wants to renegotiate. But don't worry, the ECFA cargo cult will grind on regardless. If we just sign ECFA, there will be a chicken in every garage and a car in every pothole. Or something. Whatever.
- Apple Daily editorializes on gangster interference in city council elections.
- What? China totally hypocritical on its island claims? Who could have imagined it?
- The CNA translates several local editorials on the government's decision to halt land sales in Taipei city in a bid to bring housing prices down.
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