The BGA Taiwan Team, led by Senior Adviser Rupert Hammond-Chambers wrote an update to clients about the country’s upcoming elections.

Taiwan’s 2024 Presidential Election Draws to a Close

What has been a yearlong journey to the January 13, 2024, general election is now drawing to a close. Taiwan has just entered the 10-day period prior to election day, during which polling is prohibited and candidates for the presidency and the Legislative Yuan are making their final push. We’ll take one final deep dive into what the data is showing us.

The final presidential election polls show no significant changes to the trends we have been covering these past few weeks. The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) candidate, Lai Ching-te, maintains his lead with 34.5 percent, followed by the Kuomintang (KMT) candidate, Hou Yu-ih, at 29.2 percent. Ko Wen-je, the candidate from the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), has stopped his downward trend and stabilized at around 23.4 percent. The gap between Lai and Hou is narrow, albeit just outside the margin of error. Any major event before next Saturday, such as Foxconn founder Terry Gou declaring his support for Hou, or any unforeseen scandals in the present DPP government could potentially reverse Lai’s lead.

According to Taiwan law, starting from 10 days before election day, which is from January 3, it is prohibited for anyone to publish or comment on the electoral polls. Therefore, the polls recently released by various media and institutions will be the last ones publicly available. These final polls are usually more accurate and considered to be more reliable in order to maintain the credibility of the media and other institutions.

The latest presidential election polls published by the media and other institutions are as follows:

Survey DateMedia/InstitutionSurvey MethodLai-HsiaoHou-JawKo-Wu
1/1TVBSLandline + Mobile33%30%22%
12/31-1/1ETtodayMobile SMS (Membership)38.9%35.8%22.4%
12/30-31Mirror Media (鏡新聞)Landline + Mobile35.6%24.1%24.2%
12/ (震傳媒)Landline + Mobile31.5%28.4%25.2%
12/27-29Formosa Electronic News (美麗島電子報)Landline39.6%28.5%18.9%
12/25-29United Daily News (UDN)Landline + Mobile32%27%21%
12/25-29RW News (菱傳媒)Online36.89%32.83%28.64%
12/26-27Sanlih Entertainment Television (三立電視)Landline + Mobile30.9%27.9%23.8%
12/22-24TPOF (台灣民意基金會)Landline + Mobile32.4%28.2%24.6%

The results show Ko’s overall performance is respectable; in some polls, he is relatively close to Hou. This indicates that non-DPP supporters might face a tough choice in the final vote: vote strategically to improve Hou’s chances of winning or vote directly for their candidate, which may be Ko.

Nevertheless, recent polls suggest that if the probability of victory for either Hou or Ko is low, only approximately 1 percent of voters consider a switch of their vote to a candidate with a higher chance of winning. This will not have a decisive impact on the current election results because most supporters of the three candidates have already settled on their choice. Ko’s stability in the polls might help him in at-large legislative votes, but it is unlikely to dent Lai’s current lead.

Updates on Taiwan’s 2024 Legislative Election

In the current legislative elections in Taiwan, the KMT maintains a considerable advantage in both regional legislative and at-large legislative races. This dominance is partly due to the KMT’s historical support from powerful local factions. Additionally, many voters hope to prevent the DPP from continuing its majority in the Legislative Yuan and return the country to split rule, offering a counterbalance to DPP control of the executive branch.

A poll indicated that up to 50 percent of DPP supporters want a balanced Legislative Yuan with no party holding a majority, especially if Lai becomes president, to ensure checks and balances. Given this sentiment, a number of incumbent DPP legislators, who previously held advantages, are now facing tough battles.

The latest at-large legislative election polls published by the media and other institutions are as follows:

Survey DateMedia/InstitutionSurvey MethodDPPKMTTPP
12/31-1/1ETtodayMobile SMS (Membership)34.2%35.6%17.6%
12/30-31Mirror Media (鏡新聞)Landline + Mobile33.7%31%17.4%
12/ (震傳媒)Landline + Mobile27.3%30%23.6%
12/26-27Sanlih Entertainment Television (三立電視)Landline + Mobile26.4%33.1%20.1%
12/26-30United Daily News (UDN)Landline + Mobile25%29%17%
12/25-29RW News (菱傳媒)Online32.3%32.6%25.4%
12/22-24TPOF (台灣民意基金會)Landline + Mobile28.9%31.5%18.4%
12/22-28TVBSLandline + Mobile30%33%16%
12/20-21Formosa Electronic News (美麗島電子報)Landline30.9%33.8%13.8%

The latest polls assessing the at-large legislative seats show the KMT is mostly leading. However, as at-large legislative seats are allocated based on the proportion of votes received, the final difference in seat numbers between the DPP and the KMT might be marginal, likely just one or two seats. The key factor remains the performance in regional legislative elections for specific constituent seats. For the TPP, which is struggling to win in constituent elections, the party’s performance in at-large legislative districts is crucial. Current polls suggest they could secure around eight at-large seats.

The most likely outcome for the Legislative Yuan is that no party will hold a majority. However, if significant events occur before election day that negatively impact the DPP’s regional legislative elections, the KMT might have a chance to secure a majority in the Legislative Yuan, potentially reverting to the scenario of 2000-2008, which could diminish the TPP’s influence. Nevertheless, the Legislative Yuan’s committee system, which has two conveners for each committee, provides the TPP with negotiating leverage with the KMT. Therefore, even if the KMT achieves a majority, it is unlikely that the TPP will be completely marginalized.

Impact of Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates on Presidential Election

The recent presidential and vice presidential debates in Taiwan, held December 30 and 31, respectively, have had a limited impact on the election outcome. The extent of this impact largely depends on how well each party’s supporters and candidates publicize debate highlights to criticize opponents or boost morale.

In the presidential debate, the focus was primarily on the candidates’ property issues, with the KMT’s Hou and the TPP’s Ko targeting the illegal construction controversy surrounding Lai’s family home. However, all three candidates have faced negative scrutiny over land and property issues, which seems to have shifted the election’s focus toward housing availability and affordability, followed by cross-strait relations, foreign affairs and energy policies. Despite the negative tactics employed, the candidates did not introduce any significant new issues or make major declarations during the debate.

Regarding the vice presidential debate, the candidates from the DPP, KMT and TPP — Hsiao Bi-khim, Jaw Shaw-kong and Wu Hsin-ying, respectively — displayed distinct styles and strategies. Jaw aggressively attacked his opponents, announcing his resignation as chairman of the Broadcasting Corporation of China and his intention to forgo the vice presidential salary and residence if elected. Hsiao focused on policy discourse, emphasizing collaboration with Jaw and Wu on national issues and artificial intelligence development under the Executive Yuan. Wu emphasized her two-track diplomacy and sovereign fund strategy, urging voters not to overlook the TPP or discard it in strategic voting.

Compared to the presidential debate, the vice presidential debate was more topical but still had no discernable impact on support for the presidential tickets.

BGA Taiwan Predictions

It appears likely that the DPP candidate Lai is heading toward a narrow victory in the Taiwan presidential election.

On the legislative front, the DPP looks set to lose control of the chamber. The margins over whether the KMT can secure one-party control are razor thin; however, as noted in earlier analyses, the TPP is guaranteed some role in the chamber, whether as a direct partner in a coalition or as a partner of convenience to secure control of the most important committees.

We will continue to keep you updated on developments in Taiwan. If you have any comments or questions, please contact BGA Taiwan Senior Adviser Rupert Hammond-Chambers at

Best regards,

BGA Taiwan Team