台 2024 年“立委”选举结果及影响分析
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Results and Analysis of the 2024 Taiwan Legislative Yuan Elections

台 2024 年“立委”选举结果及影响分析

Wu Yi, the director of the political economy research department at the Taiwan Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, analyzes Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan (LY) elections, which took place in January 2024. Wu argues that the strong performance of the KMT (Beijing’s preferred party) and TPP in the elections mean the LY will serve as a stabilizing force for cross-Strait relations going forward, given the support in both parties for greater cross-Strait engagement and shared opposition to what Wu frames as the “independence” leanings of Lai Ching-te, then the president-elect from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Key takeaways
  • Wu Yi, a scholar at the Taiwan Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, analyzes Taiwan’s recent Legislative Yuan elections, forecasting impacts for Taiwan's political dynamics and cross-Strait relations in the coming years.
  • Wu suggests the result reflects emergence of the Taiwan People's Party (TPP) as a major political force. Wu attributes the presidential victory of Lai Ching-te from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to a split in the “Blue-White” alliance (meaning the TPP and the Kuomintang, KMT).
  • Wu highlights that the KMT gained the most seats in the Legislative Yuan elections, explaining this as a result of strategic candidate nominations and a preference among the electorate for checks on the DPP’s power via the legislature, in Wu’s analysis.
  • Looking ahead, Wu argues that Lai will face serious checks on his power by the Legislative Yuan. The TPP seats will also be significant in this regard, Wu suggests, as both the KMT and DPP will compete to secure support from the new party on priority agenda items.
  • Finally, Wu suggests that the powerful positions of the KMT and TPP within the LY mean the body will serve as a stabilization force in cross-Strait relations, as both parties oppose what Wu frames as Lai's tendencies toward de jure independence and instead support "policies and regulations conducive to cross-Strait exchanges."

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Elections for Taiwan’s “Legislative Yuan members” and leader were held on January 13. In an atmosphere that had the majority of public opinion wanting the DPP to be “recalled and held in check,” Lai Ching-te won the “general election” with a plurality of the vote as he reaped the spoils from the “Blue-White split.” But Lai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lost a large number of seats, becoming a “double minority” ruling party with a serious lack of legitimacy in public opinion. The new pattern in the “Legislative Yuan” is one of divided government and “three parties without a (legislative) majority,” increasing the impact on the island’s political landscape and cross-Strait relations.

1 月 13 日,台“立委”与领导人选举同日举行。在多数民意期待“下架制衡民进党”氛围下,赖清德虽因“蓝白分”渔利、以相对多数票赢得“大选”,但民进党“立委”席次大幅下挫,成为民意正当性严重不足的“双重少数”执政党。新一届“立法院”呈“朝小野大”“三党不过半”格局,对岛内政局及两岸关系影响增大。

I. Election Results and Causes


This round of Legislative Yuan elections was conducted amid intense competition between three parties—Blue, Green, and White (the Kuomintang, or KMT, the DPP, and the Taiwan People’s Party, or TPP). The results reveal a new situation characterized by “three parties without a majority,” with “Green down, Blue up, and White rising,” and minor parties fizzling out. Of 113 Legislative Yuan seats, the KMT won 52 (gaining 14 seats), the DPP got 51 seats (a decline of ten seats), the TPP got eight seats (an increase of three seats), and independents (who lean toward the KMT) got two seats. Minor parties were wiped out. Among the 73 district representative (区域立委) seats, the KMT and DPP each won 36 seats, while one seat went to an independent, and the TPP won zero; of the six aboriginal representative (原住民立委) seats, the KMT won three, the DPP won two, and one went to an independent; among the 34 national “representative-at-large” (不分区立委) seats, the KMT and DPP each won 13 seats (with 34.6% and 36.2% of the votes), and the TPP won eight seats (getting 22.1% of the votes).

此届“立委”改选在蓝绿白三党激烈竞逐下进行,结果呈现“绿降蓝升白涨”、“三党不过半”、小党泡沫化新局面。总共 113 席“立委”中,国民党赢得 52 席(上升 14 席),民进党 51 席(下降 10 席),民众党 8 席(上升 3 席),无党籍(偏蓝)2 席,小党全军覆没。其中,区域“立委”73 席,国民党、民进党各获 36 席,无党籍 1 席,民众党挂零 ;原住民“立委”6 席 , 国民党 3 席,民进党 2 席,无党籍 1 席 ;不分区“立委”34 席,国民党(得票率 34.6%)、民进党(得票率 36.2%)各 13 席,民众党 8 席(得票率 22.1%)。

On the whole, these Legislative Yuan elections were affected by the overall situation in the general election.


First, the DPP’s manipulation of higher-level political issues such as “democracy versus dictatorship” (民主与专制) and “resisting China and protecting Taiwan” showed diminishing marginal returns, causing a return to basics in the Legislative Yuan elections to a greater extent—to the fundamentals of the different parties, their nominees, and election strategies. In particular, the strength of district representative candidates and constituency structures were the main decisive factors, whereas for the “representative-at-large” seats, the vote shares of the political parties were highly correlated with their party images and the merits of their nominees. The KMT’s nominations went more smoothly this time around, and produced a younger and stronger slate with more new faces, especially in the case of the at-large seats; the DPP’s nominations were full of contradictions and had little coherence. Many nominees withdrew due to scandals, and the “at-large” slate of candidates was perceived poorly as “too many old people, and factions dividing the spoils.” Because of the KMT’s skillful positioning, twelve of the 73 district representative seats “switched from Green to Blue.” As for the TPP, due to its weak base, none of its ten district representative nominees won, but it did win representative-at-large seats, mainly by relying on Ko Wen-je to boost the party’s momentum and increase its at-large votes.

一是此次民进党操弄“民主与专制”“抗中保台”等高政治议题边际效应递减,使“立委”选情较大程度地回归基本面,即各政党基本盘、提名和选举策略等。其中,区域“立委”候选人实力和选民 结构等是主要决定因素,不分区政党得票率则与政党形象、提名优劣等高度相关。此次国民党提名较 为顺畅,新人多、年轻化、战力强,不分区名单耳目一新;民进党提名矛盾重重、整合不力,多位提名人因丑闻退选,不分区名单“老人多、派系分赃”观感差。因国民党布局得当,73 席区域“立委” 中,共有 12 席“由绿转蓝”,多为 2020 年受民进党操弄“反中抗中”影响,蓝营以些微差距丢失的中北部选区。民众党则因基层实力不足,提名 10 席区域“立委”均未当选,主要依靠柯文哲拉高政党声势、政党票上涨斩获不分区席次。

Second, given how the three-way Blue, Green, and White game played out for the general election, most of the public on the island saw no hope of unseating the DPP, so they chose to use the Legislative Yuan to hold the DPP in check. Many polls during the election cycle showed that nearly 60 percent of the public hoped for a rotation of parties and looked forward to a “Blue-White coalition,” with a majority not supporting the DPP’s continuing to hold full power. After the “Blue-White coalition” collapsed, the likelihood of a Lai Ching-te victory increased greatly, but the public opinion atmosphere that sought to restrain the DPP continued to simmer, so some voters split their tickets, making cross-party choices for leaders, party [for representatives-at-large], and district representatives. As a result, although Lai Ching-te won, the DPP’s party vote was 600,000 fewer than the votes Lai received, while the KMT’s party vote was 100,000 more than the number received by Hou Yu-ih, and the TPP’s party vote was 650,000 less than the votes received by Ko Wen-je.

二是“大选”蓝绿白三方博弈态势下,岛内多数民众在下架民进党无望情况下,选择用“立法院” 来制衡民进党。选举中多个民调显示,近六成民众希望政党轮替、期待“蓝白合”,过半民众不支持民进党继续完全执政。“蓝白合”破局后,赖清德胜选几率大增,制衡民进党的民意氛围持续发酵,部分选民出现分裂性投票,对领导人、政党及区域“立委”投票做出跨政党选择。因此,赖清德虽胜选, 但民进党政党票较赖得票数少 60 万票,国民党政党票较侯友宜得票数多 10 万票,民众党政党票较柯文哲得票数少 65 万票。

Third, the TPP has come to represent a third force, while other small parties have fizzled. In the last election there were 19 political parties, and 153 minor party candidates ran for election. This round, the numbers fell to 16 parties and 98 candidates, mainly because the TPP’s Ko Wen-je temporarily absorbed large numbers of centrist and young voters who had supported small parties in the past. This time, the share of party votes won by “neither Blue nor Green” parties was 29.3% (versus 30.25% last time), with the TPP accounting for 22.07% (compared to 11.22% last time). The vote share of other small parties shrank, so the party vote has shifted from “a hundred schools of thought contending” to the “rule of three.”

三是民众党成为第三势力代表,其他小党泡沫化。上届选举共有 19 个政党、153 位小党候选人参选,本届降为 16 个政党、98 位候选人,主因民众党柯文哲吸收了大量过去支持小党的中间和年轻选民。此次“非蓝非绿”的政党票得票率 29.3%(上届 30.25%),其中民众党占比 22.07%(上届 11.22%),其他小党得票率皆萎缩,政党票自“百家争鸣”转为“三强鼎立”。

II. Main Effects of the Election


(i) In governing, Lai Ching-te will face strong supervision and checks and balances from the Legislative Yuan


Although the DPP has been able to retain power, it will be transformed from total power to that of a “doubly disadvantaged” minority government with a large opposition. The election of the KMT’s Han Kuo-yu and Johnny Chiang as speaker and deputy speaker of the Legislative Yuan has further established the opposition’s strong supervision and checks and balances on the DPP’s administration. According to the island’s relevant constitutional documents, major bills, budgets, policies, and some major personnel decisions require the consent of a majority of the Legislative Yuan members before they can take effect. In the future, therefore, the Lai administration will not be able to view the Legislative Yuan as a “rubber stamp,” nor will it be able to use the preparation of special budgets and the amendment of laws to benefit itself, suppress dissenters, and “rely on the United States to resist China.” Lai’s major administrative and personnel decisions will have to be negotiated with the opposition parties. If he ignores the system and stubbornly clings to ideological governance, he will inevitably encounter strong checks and balances from the opposition parties, leading to fierce fighting between parties and political turmoil. The DPP will also be unable to control the “Executive Yuan” and will become a lame-duck ruling party.

民进党虽得以继续执政,但将由完全执政转为“朝小野大”“双重弱势”执政。国民党“韩江配”当选正副“院长”,进一步确立了在野党对民进党执政的强势监督制衡态势。据岛内相关宪制性文件规定,当局重大法案、预算、政策与部分重大人事案,均需半数以上“立委”同意方能生效。因此,未 来赖当局无法将“立法院”视为“橡皮图章”,通过编列特别预算、修改法律等图利自肥、打压异己、“倚美抗中”。赖清德的重大施政、人事等须与在野党协商,若其漠视体制、顽固坚持意识形态施政,则必将遭到在野党的强力制衡,导致政党恶斗和政局动荡,而民进党也将令不出“行政院”,成为跛脚执政党。

(ii)   Cooperation and competition among the three parties in the Legislative Yuan will be extremely complicated and intense.

( 二 )“立法院”三党竞合将异常复杂激烈

Although the KMT has become the largest party in the Legislative Yuan and successfully obtained the speaker and deputy speaker positions, it is still short of a majority, even with the addition of the two pro-Blue independent seats, and must cooperate with the TPP in order to promote effective supervision and checks and balances. The TPP’s eight seats have become a key minority for the KMT and DPP to compete for. From the perspective of the TPP’s main source of votes and future development, in order to prevent it from being reduced to a “small Blue” or “small Green,” subordinate to one of the two major political parties and fading away, and in order to continue to “nibble away” at the Blues and Greens to expand its strength, the TPP will be oriented towards strategic issue cooperation, and will swing between the two major parties to take advantage of opportunities. This kind of unstable cooperation relationship will lead to unprecedented complexity in the combinations and linkages among the three parties in the Legislative Yuan.

国民党虽成为“立法院”第一大党并顺利取得正副“院长”,但即使加上亲蓝 2 席无党籍人士仍未过半,须与民众党合作才能推动有效的监督制衡。民众党 8 席成为蓝绿竞相争取的关键少数。从民众党选票主要来源和未来发展看,为防止沦为从属于两大政党的“小蓝”“小绿”而泡沫化,为继续“蚕食”蓝、绿以扩大实力,其将以策略性的议题合作为导向,在两大党间摆动渔利。这种不稳定的合作关系将导致蓝绿白三方在“立法院”展开空前复杂的合纵连横。

(iii)  The new situation in the Legislative Yuan will help reduce risks in the cross-Strait relationship


With “pragmatic worker for Taiwan independence” Lai Ching-te having won the election, the risks and uncertainties facing the cross-Strait relationship have risen sharply. If the KMT and TPP stick to their positions, in the Legislative Yuan they will be able to play an important role in stabilizing the cross-Strait relationship. According to the island’s relevant constitutional provisions, the threshold for “constitutional amendment” in the Legislative Yuan is three-fourths of the members present and three-fourths agreeing. Since both the KMT and TPP are clearly against “Taiwan independence,” and given their superior number of seats in the Legislative Yuan, they can curb a radical “de jure Taiwan independence” venture by the Lai administration. Both parties oppose “de-Sinicization, hating China, and resisting China,” and advocate cross-Strait exchanges and cooperation, and they can restrain the Lai administration’s “progressive Taiwan independence” while promoting policies and regulations conducive to cross-Strait exchanges.

“务实台独工作者”赖清德赢得选举,两岸关系面临的风险和不确定性急剧升高。尤其是赖竞选中抛出“宪法灾难说”暴露内心“正名制宪”冲动,提前搅动台海局势。若蓝白两党坚持立场,将可在 “立法院”中发挥稳定两岸关系的重要作用。岛内相关宪制性规定,“立法院”“修宪”门槛为 3/4“立委”出席且 3/4 同意。因蓝白两党均明确反对“台独”,在“立法院”席次占优情况下,可遏阻赖当局 “法理台独”激进冒险。两党均反对“去中仇中抗中”、主张两岸交流合作,可制约赖当局“渐进台独”、推动有利于两岸交流往来的政策法规。

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Cite This Page

吴宜 (Wu Yi). "Results and Analysis of the 2024 Taiwan Legislative Yuan Elections [台 2024 年“立委”选举结果及影响分析]". CSIS Interpret: China, original work published in Taiwan Studies [台湾研究], February 1, 2024

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