Sunday, February 08, 2015

DPP takes 3 of 5 in Legislative By-Election

Local house on Lanyu

I go to Lanyu and in my absence by-elections were held. I think that was on purpose...

The DPP took three of the five, leaving the KMT's 65-40 legislative seat advantage over the DPP unchanged (China Post):
KMT candidates Hsu Chih-jung (徐志榮) and Hsu Shu-hua (許淑華) were victorious in Miaoli County and Nantou County respectively.

The DPP prevailed in Taichung City, Pingtung County and Changhua County, with their seats won by Huang Kuo-shu (黃國書), Chuang Ruei-hsiung (莊瑞雄) and Chen Su-yueh (陳素月), respectively.
Frozen Garlic, analyst extraordinaire, like everyone else, noted that the results really didn't reflect on the KMT's new Chairman Eric Chu. He also observes:
The reason that I think the DPP won a small victory has to do with the results in Taichung and Changhua. Both of these wins came by a wide margin – roughly 25% in Taichung and 18% in Changhua. While the DPP won both of these seats in 2012, these have hardly been solid DPP territory. The KMT held both prior to 2012, and Ma Ying-jeou won more votes than Tsai Ing-wen in both districts. On election night 2012, it was fairly easy to argue that the DPP had won the seats due to the popularity of the individual candidates rather than to general support for the entire party. Today’s result changes that picture. Now it appears that the DPP might really have a clear edge over the KMT in both districts. Further, it now has two new people sitting in those seats who have a year to consolidate their support before the next general election. The KMT will certainly run competent candidates in 2016, but there aren’t any looming heavyweights preparing to challenge either of the two new legislators. From today’s vantage point, it looks as if these two seats, which were marginal for the DPP in 2012, are quickly turning into safe DPP seats.
Two great shifts have occurred in the last two decades. The first was what I like to think of as the Great Voter Shift, when millions of votes won by Lee Teng-hui in the 1996 election shifted over to the DPP between 1996 and 2004. The second is now underway -- it looks as though the DPP is slowly eating away at the battleground of central Taiwan and converting it to DPP territory, chunk by chunk. If the DPP can solidify its grip on central Taiwan, then the KMT will be relegated to a party of Taipei, its environs, and a few mountain districts. But as the close vote in Nantou shows, even that cannot be taken for granted much longer.

Thus, the importance of Lin Chia-lung's capture of the Taichung municipality mayorship for the DPP's 2016 chances cannot be overestimated -- double-edged, it gives the DPP advantages in elections, but Lin absolutely must perform if the DPP is to continue its progress in central Taiwan. Losing the mayorship the next time around would be a disaster for the DPP. One of his three appointed Deputy Mayors has been impeached by the Control Yuan in a complicated case from yesteryear.

The numbers are given in the chart above, from top to bottom: Taichung, Changhua, Miaoli, Nantou, and Pingtung.

A longtime observer pointed out that the key race here is the Miaoli one. That was the seat that would have been contested by Chen Wei-ting, the Sunflower leader who had to withdraw after sex harassment scandals came to light. The other races saw swings to the DPP, as Froze notes above, but despite the loss, the DPP made up 12% on its previous performance in the district, Miaoli 2. A signal of bad times coming for KMT candidates in the north and in the next election? Perhaps, but only time will tell.
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1 comment:

les said...

I think it's very hard for DPP candidates to attract Hakka votes for various reasons. If DPP is able to take Miaoli it's probably all over for the KMT.