On a scale of NT$0 to NT$100, bidders felt the probability of DPP candidate Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) winning the Taipei City poll grew from NT$45 to NT$48 yesterday. The bidding price of Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) jumped from NT$51 last month to NT$53 yesterday.This dovetails with other information, including public polls and previous election returns, that shows that the elections in the north will be tight and difficult to predict. It's going to be a fascinating next few months.
In Sinbei City, DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is making good progress since announcing her candidacy on May 23. Her price has grown from NT$42 to NT$49.43 yesterday.
The likelihood of her KMT opponent, former vice premier Eric Chu (朱立倫), winning dropped from NT$59 to its lowest level over the past two months at NT$49.87 after Tsai announced her candidacy. It rebounded to NT$52 yesterday.
Tsai and Chu are running in The City Formerly Known As Taipei County, Xinbei (New North City). Here's the data from the Taipei County magistrate elections for 2005, 2001, and 1997. Note that in 1997 there was no PPP and an independent candidate grabbed a significant portion of the vote, and in 2001 the New Party was the only Blue party. I don't see a real trend there, except that each party appears to have a base corresponding to about 40% of the electorate. Those middle 20% votes are going to be bitterly fought over.....
- KMT: 988,739 (54.87%)
- DPP: 798,233 (44.30%)
- New: 820808 (48.2%)
- DPP: 874495 (51.3%)
- TOTAL BLUE: 576,418: KMT: 543516 (38.7%), New: 32902 (2.3%)
- IND: 257582 18.3
- DPP: 571658 (40.7%)
Meanwhile, with the southern municipalities of Kaohsiung and Tainan widely seen as DPP locks, Taichung had been thought to be a KMT shoo-in given the popularity of Mayor Hu and the money being spread around the city due to public construction. But the local government's intimate involvement with organized crime was dramatically highlighted in a hit on a gangster in Taichung city at which four police officers were present (the Liberty Times claimed today that new revelations say 9 policeman were present, playing Mahjong with the target, and the hitter was probably from China). ETaiwan News said (via ESWN, who has video links):
Taichung's convenient geographic location and the business-friendly environment has made the central city a favored location for organized criminal gangs to set up operational bases. The police force is both insufficient large and equipped and law enforcement has never been effective. Murders, shootings, kidnaps and fights among gangsters have been rampant in Taichugn under Hu's administration, but the "Achilles's Heel" has been the failure of the city government to enforce stricter discipline and effectively investigate and crack down on alleged corruption between the police and the organized crimes.Taichung's lawlessness is proverbial, but voters have never appeared to be influenced by the crime rate. The Taipei Times piece on the prediction market noted:
The controversial case of four police officers hiding in a gun shop while the murder took place revealed the dark side of the local police force and the failuure of the city's police commander to promptly report this incident to Hu revealed a grave lack of internal discipline and exposed Hu's powerlessness. The eruption of this scandal coincided with the KMT's nomination of Hu for mayor of the merged Taichung municipality and triggered a plunge in his approval ratings from 56 percent in March to 46 percent and the gap between Hu and DPP nominee Su Chia-chyuan has considerably narrowed even before Su has truly launched his campaign. Su may well take advantage of Hu's woes by highlighting his own robust administrative record in cracking down on crime during eight years as Pingtung County mayor and his experience as interior minister.
Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) continued to lead in Greater Taichung, but the gap is narrowing, especially after the shooting of a gang leader in the city late last month. The market showed that since the DPP nominated Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) on May 23, the probability of the DPP candidate winning grew from NT$35 to NT$37.However, Hu still has a solid lead, though the DPP claimed that internal polls show Hu's lead had fallen from 18 points to 14 as a result of the shooting. Lots of time before the elections, and I've been hearing some interesting trends that could shape the election here in the Chung.
The possibility of Hu winning dropped dramatically from NT$77 to NT$67 after Su Jia-chyuan announced his candidacy. Hu’s price further plunged to NT$60 yesterday following the shooting.
[Taiwan] Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!