President Tsai Ing-wen’s Democratic Progressive Party has held onto its legislative majority despite winning seven fewer seats than it did in 2016.
The party will have 61 of the 113 seats in the legislature when the next session begins in February. With control of both the executive branch and the legislature, the party will hold the levers of power for the next four years.
The opposition KMT gained three seats in this election, putting its total at 38. That’s nine short of the 57 seats needed to hold a majority. The remaining 14 seats went to smaller parties and independents.
The most notable of the smaller parties is a new player on the scene, the Taiwan People’s Party, which picked up five seats. The party was founded by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je in August last year, making this the party’s first election.
Another party – the New Power Party – held onto three seats. This is one of the “third force” parties, which was formed in 2015, in the wake of the previous year’s Sunflower Student Movement.
One of the biggest surprises of the night was the election of a young candidate from the pro-independence Taiwan Statebuilding Party. This seat is not only the first the party has ever won, it’s also in a district in the central city of Taichung which has been dominated by the same KMT family for years.