I often get too detailed and forget to look at the big picture. So let’s step back and look at the basic partisan structure of the five metro areas. I calculated the percentages of the blue and green camps for the past 6 executive elections (3 presidential, 3 local executive). To simplify things, I’m just going to look at the green camp results. Since I have already added all the splinter candidates back into their respective camps, the two camps are basically mirrors of each other, so we aren’t really losing any information by only looking at the green camp. To make it even easier, in the second chart I have taken out all the local executive races. This allows us to hold the candidates constant. You can see the same basic trends in the first chart, but they are clearer in the second chart.
Unfortunately, it seems nearly impossible to paste a chart directly onto my blog post, so you’ll have to download the excel file and look at the pretty charts there.
It is pretty obvious that Tainan is clearly the DPP’s best area of these five municipalities, and Kaohsiung is the second best. Tainan has consistently been about 5% better than Kaohsiung.
What is a little more surprising to me is how closely the other three are bunched together. Taipei has consistently been a bit worse than Taichung and Xinbei, but the difference is only about 2-3%. Taichung and Xinbei are roughly equivalent.
Perhaps the reason I think the DPP faces a much tougher terrain in Taipei than in Xinbei or Taichung can be seen in the 2004 results. In that year, all the DPP lines stretch upward, but less so in Taipei than in other places. Taipei just seems more solid in its partisan patterns than in other places.
There are a couple of interesting deviations from the general trend lines in 2001/2. In Xinbei, the DPP went way, way above its “normal” trend line. This was the year that Su Tseng-chang ran for re-election. In Taipei, the DPP went far below its normal trend line. Ma Ying-jeou was running for re-election that year. Apparently, both were pretty good candidates.
You can also see the north/south evolution. (This is easier to see in the table than in the graphs.) Comparing 2000 to 2008, the DPP’s vote increased by a bit more in the south than in the north.