Over the last year or so I’ve had the good fortune to meet some of the best and brightest in analyzing Taiwan, from military analysts to political bloggers, to journalists, academics, social commentators & activists, and cultural & identity experts. For fun, I threw out a bet challenge to 29 of them, for a bottle of wine worth about NT$500 — preferably to drink together since these are people I respect and from whom I’ve learned a lot.
The bet is on the first prediction; the rest are only being added now. These predictions are, as far as I can tell, by far the most extreme and most clearly laid out by any analyst. I am going to look pretty foolish if I’m wrong on most of them. But if not I’ll have enough wine for quite a party!
Prediction One: The KMT will win 29 seats or less in the Legislative Yuan. That includes the district, party list, and aboriginal seats combined. Nine of these experts took me up on the bet, taking the side that the KMT will win 30 seats or more. Three, interestingly, agreed with me. The rest of the experts made no prediction, which considering the upheaval going on now is a respectable choice. The details of which experts took each side is noted in the comments on the pinned post on the Facebook group “Taiwan News in English”. Though this bet is meant to be in fun, I’m serious that I think I’m going to win it. My next article will explain why I am pretty confident in these predictions.
Prediction Two: In the district elections, the KMT is going to lose many traditional bastions, not just a few where there is a split pan-blue vote like Kinmen or Keelung. While Eric Chu proclaims that the battleground zone is Central Taiwan, he’s wrong — it’s right in the heart of Taipei and New Taipei. They’ve lost Central Taiwan already. (This is my turf as ICRT Central Taiwan correspondent.)
Prediction Three: The KMT will lose all four seats in Changhua in spite of all four seats currently being KMT.
Prediction Four: Nantou is up for grabs — the DPP will win one or both of the seats there even though both seats are KMT, and Nantou was one of the few places in the country to not swing pan-green in last year’s nine-in-one elections.
Prediction Five: The KMT will win zero or one seat in Taichung. Currently the KMT holds five of the eight Taichung seats.
Prediction Six: On the party list vote, while the DPP will of course win the most seats, the second, third, and fourth placed parties will be within single digits of each other (less than 10% difference between them).
Prediction Seven: The three parties that will take the second, third, and fourth places in the party list vote will be the NPP, the KMT, and the PFP — and I don’t know which order they will place. While I suspect the KMT will place second, it is not inconceivable for them to come in third in the party list vote.
Prediction Eight: The “Third Force” parties are going to do far better than anyone expects.
Prediction Nine: On the party list vote, the KMT will do the same or even worse than the final polls suggested — even after factoring in the large number of undecided voters in those polls.
Prediction Ten: The KMT will never recover, and in the next Legislative Yuan election they will do even worse. Of course we’ll know the answer to the previous nine predictions on the evening of the 16th. This one will take four years to verify.
This election is a topsy-turvy one to be sure, with a lot of variables and unknowns. Tune into my next post as to why I’m pretty confident in my predictions.