President Tsai’s approval rating drops below 50%

In the four months since President Tsai Ing-wen (???) took office, her approval rating has slipped from nearly 70 percent to under 50 percent, according to a recent survey.

The survey released by the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation on Monday found that 44.7 percent of the Taiwan public approved of Tsai's handling of major national issues, compared with 52.3 percent in August and 69.9 percent when she first took office in May.

"It's a surprise that it has plummeted like an avalanche," Foundation Chairman You Ying-lung (???) said. "This is not an often-seen scenario."

The poll, conducted Sept.19-20, showed that 33.7 percent of the public disagreed with Tsai's handling of major national issues, while 21.5 percent had no opinion,

Meanwhile, only 34.6 percent of the Taiwan public thinks that Premier Lin Chuan (??), and his Cabinet team are capable of resolving the nation's problems, while 40.9 percent does not have that confidence, the survey found.

On the issue of Taiwan independence versus unification with China, 49.2 percent of the respondents indicated support for Taiwan independence in the future, compared with 51.2 percent in a similar poll in May.

Some 17.8 percent of Taiwan's people favor eventual unification with China, while 20.5 percent would prefer to maintain the status-quo, representing an increase of 2.9 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively, from the May survey, according to the most recent poll.

However, the results of the two polls on that issue were within the margin of error, which indicates consistency in people's stance on the matter, You said.

The poll was carried out by interviewing 1,081 Taiwanese aged 20 and over. It had a confidence level of just under 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.98 percentage points.

Another survey released on Monday showed that 49 percent of the public was satisfied with Tsai's performance as president and her administration's push for pension reform, while 43.3 percent was not.

On the question of whether they had confidence in Tsai's governance, 59.8 percent of the respondents said yes, while 35.9 percent said no, according to the poll, which was conducted Sept. 20-22 by the Taiwan Style Foundation (??????).

Some 55 percent also said they thought Tsai was taking Taiwan in the right direction, while 22.5 percent disagreed.

The poll found that 80.8 percent of the public backed the efforts of the Tsai administration to reform the country's pension system, and only 9.2 percent was not in favor of the plan.

Some 83.3 percent of the public is in favor of the government setting a ceiling for pension payments, according to the poll.

It also found that 29.6 percent of people in Taiwan think Premier Lin should step down but 56.2 percent do not favor that idea.

On the question which party has governed best in Taiwan, 46.3 percent pointed to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and 22.9 percent to the Kuomintang.

Commenting on the surveys, DPP Legislator Luo Chih-cheng (???) said the public still has confidence in Tsai and Lin's leadership, as evidenced by the fact that their approval rating are still higher than the discontent rate and have not changed much from August.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel