When last we saw, DPP turncoat and current Kaohsiung county chief Yang Chiu-hsing had formally announced that he was running as an independent in the election for mayor in the new Kaohsiung municipality against current Kaohsiung city mayor Chen Chu and some KMT sacrificial lamb.
The latest TVBS poll has Chen Chu out in front and actually gaining slightly on Yang. TVBS says if the election were tomorrow on May 27, July 29, and August 10, respectively....
Chen Chu..............62 43 46
Yang Chiu-hsing..... -- 26 28
KMT..................... 26 16 14
Chen Chu's gain is within the margin of error of the poll, so it is hard to say how real it is, especially given TVBS' usual underreporting of pro-Green votes.
What is the situation here? Do we have two candidates from the pan-Green, or two from the pan-Blue? The poll has Chen Chu up over Yang 41-36 in Kaohsiung County, and up 52-20 in Kaohsiung city. But the interesting thing is the numbers by previous election choice. According to TVBS, of voters in the 2005 county chief election, Chen Chu gets 60% of the votes that went for Yang in 2005 plus 12% of the KMT votes. Yang, by contrast, draws 35% of the DPP voters in that election but 45% from KMT voters. Similarly, for voters in the 2006 Kaohsiung mayor election that Chen Chu won by a nose, Chen Chu draws 80% of the DPP votes plus 17% of those who voted KMT, while Yang does even worse: just 10% are DPP voters, vs 36% from KMT voters in that election. For the 2008 presidential election, Yang takes just 15% from DPP voters, but 40% from KMT.
In other words, Yang appears to be drawing the bulk of his support from would-be KMT voters -- the light blues and blue-leaning independent voters. Rather than splitting the Greens, Yang has split the Blues. Chen Chu's performance in Kaohsiung has not only assured her support from DPP voters but also won over the bulk of swing voters as well. Another indicator that Yang is drawing support from the KMT is that support for the KMT's Huang has actually fallen slightly since Yang has entered the race.
Meanwhile Yang's complaints about the DPP administration in the South, and the DPP in general, are simply regurgitating the KMT line about the DPP. If Yang wanted to conciliate them and gather up Green voters, he is taking precisely the wrong line. Commentators are positing that Yang's real function now will be to collect votes for Ma and the KMT in the 2012 election.
Good luck with that.
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