KMT Appeal To The Younger Generation

Publication: China Brief Volume: 24 Issue: 4

Hsu’s electoral campaign. (Source: Hsu Chiao-Hsin’s Facebook)

Executive Summary:

  • The success of younger lawmakers was a bright spot within the KMT’s election performance. They have the potential to appeal to middle-class and young Taiwanese voters through innovative approaches and better social media engagement.
  • There is significant overlap between the KMT’s platform and issues of concern to younger voters. These include parliamentary reform, wage increases, housing justice, and freedom of the press
  • The KMT aims to leverage the charisma of its younger politicians and the policy reforms they advocate to address social issues and economic challenges, thereby rebuilding trust and support among Taiwan’s younger electorate.


The KMT lost the 2024 Presidential Election. However, president-elect Lai Ching-te (賴清德) of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) only secured 40 percent of the vote. Opposition parties in the Legislative Yuan therefore represent the remaining 60 percent of the public’s preferences. One aspect of the election that has received little attention in international coverage is the success of a young generation of Kuomintang (KMT) lawmakers, who did particularly well in the legislative election. As many as 10 new legislators—or a sixth of the KMT caucus—were elected to the legislature after being elected to local council seats in 2018. These are the people that are pushing the party forward in terms of generational change. They are being supported by the ballots of middle-class voters and young Taiwanese who are willing to give these lawmakers a chance in this new Legislative Yuan.

To continue to have success with the youth vote, the KMT must be bold. The party should deploy its younger members in important positions. It should also refrain from being too conservative in its attitudes and approaches. For example, lawmakers should be brave enough to communicate with voters through social media networks, including via short videos and livestream broadcasts, and to break away from traditional media. Moreover, the party should be more responsive to public opinion, proactively seeking to amend the law on issues that receive a lot of attention online, and should be quick to communicate across various channels with society more broadly.

KMT Policies Intersect With Youth Issues

There are several policy issues that are of particular interest to younger voters. These include parliamentary reform, the problem of low wages for young people, and housing justice. Another issue is the question of the blatant restriction of the freedom of the press by Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC). The KMT must do more to compete with the DPP and the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) on these policies, who have historically been better at appealing to younger voters.

The KMT has plans for parliamentary reform. The party will strive to strengthen the functions of the Legislative Yuan’s faculties, and to prevent it from being treated as little more than a legislative bureau for the executive branch. To this end, the KMT will push for a “Contempt of Parliament” law. This will empower the legislature with a certain legal countermeasures or punitive tools to prevent officials from engaging in bad practices such as lying to parliament, refusing to answer questions, or being passive in response to parliamentary inquiries that harm Taiwan’s democratic system. Additionally, the KMT will seek to strengthen the parliamentary privilege of “investigative power.” This will incentivize the government to be more transparent and allow the parliament unobstructed access to information that it requests. In this way, the government can be held accountable for important projects and policies. Finally, the KMT aims to improve the “parliamentary hearing system.” This will effectively eliminate certain bad habits of officials, such as responding to questions with further questions instead of providing direct answers. These measures are not intended to expand the power of the legislature. Rather, they will level the playing field, putting the legislature’s power on par with that of the executive branch. This will ensure that these two arms of government can be held accountable and that the executive branch can effectively reflect public opinion.

The people expect the new Legislative Yuan to work hard on a range of social issues. Among policies that should be prioritized are improving low wages for young people, achieving housing justice, protecting free speech, and protecting the people’s right of political participation. According to data released by the Office of the Comptroller General of the Executive Yuan in 2024, the average monthly salary in Taiwan from January to November 2023 was NT$45,457 ($1,447), an annual increase of 2.45 percent. Total monthly salary was NT$58,598 ($1,864), an annual increase of just 1.47 percent—the lowest rate for seven years. After excluding the price factor, the real recurring monthly wage actually decreased by 0.02 percent annually, indicating a third consecutive year of negative growth. Meanwhile, real total monthly wages decreased by 0.97 percent annually, the first year of negative growth in the past seven years. Coping with inflation and improving the economic situation will be an important area in which the legislature should supervise the government.

Wire fraud is a related issue that has continued to worsen over the past eight years. The previous government’s Ministry of Digital Affairs, the Financial Supervisory Commission, the NCC, and other units have failed to perform their duties in this regard. Such failure is not conducive to curbing the harm that these crimes inflict on Taiwanese citizens.

New Candidates, New Prospects

The charisma of individual politicians is a key factor impacting support from the younger generation. Looking ahead to the next elections, it is very likely that the middle-generation of incumbent KMT lawmakers will run again in the 2026 local elections. These candidates, together with the “mother hens” (such as Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安), Chang San-cheng (張善政), Hsu Shu-hua (許淑華), and Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕), whose performances have been recognized by the people in Taipei, Taoyuan, Nantou, and Taichung cities, respectively), will form a formidable team. [1] When the overall image of these candidates becomes younger it is more likely that the youth resonate with them, and vote accordingly.


The number of seats obtained by the KMT in the Legislative Yuan shows that the people have high expectations for the party. It also indicates their dissatisfaction with the ruling party. The KMT must grasp this opportunity and continue to implement the right reforms, become more responsive to current affairs, and promote the participation of the party’s younger members. In this way, they will persuade Taiwan’s younger voters of the changes occurring within the KMT.



[1] In Taiwanese political discourse, the term “mother hen” refers to a prominent political figure who is sufficiently popular to be able to bring their star power to campaigns outside their constituency.