People First Party (Republic of China)
|People First Party
|Headquarters||Taipei City, Republic of China|
|People First Party|
The PFP was founded by James Soong and his supporters after his failed independent bid for the presidency in 2000. Soong is the chairman and dominates much of its politics. The name of the party, qinmin, has Confucian connotations.[note 1]
The official goals of PFP, as regards to cross-strait relationships and diplomacy, is for the ROC to: participate in more international organizations, promote Chinese culture overseas and seek economic and cultural interaction between Taiwan and the mainland. Its views are seen as generally favorable towards Chinese unification and staunchly against Taiwan independence.
The party maintains a close but tense relationship with the Kuomintang (KMT) as part of the pan-blue coalition. However, since PFP had, like the New Party, grown out of the KMT, the two parties had to compete for the same set of voters. This dynamic in which both the KMT and PFP must simultaneously compete and cooperate with each other has led to complex and interesting politics.
In several notable cases, this has led to situations in which both parties have run candidates, but close to the election the party with the less popular candidate unofficially dropped out of the race. This in turn has led to some notable situations when either the PFP or the KMT has campaigned against its own candidate, which has led to intra-party resentment.
To avoid a repeat of this effect, which led to the election of Democratic Progressive Party candidate Chen Shui-bian to the presidency in 2000 by a low share of votes, Chairman Soong ran as vice-president on KMT Chairman Lien Chan's presidential ticket in the 2004 presidential election.
After his defeat in Taipei mayoral election on 9 December 2006, Soong announced that he would quit political life, including the chairmanship of the Party. At this point, with no clear goals, the PFP faced an uncertain future, and considered merging with the Kuomintang. After much negotiation, the PFP and the KMT did not merge.
2012 Presidential election 
In September 2011, James Soong mounted the PFP's first-ever presidential bid and selected academic Ruey-Shiung Lin to be his running mate. The PFP collected sufficient signatures to qualify for the 2012 Presidential Election ballot.
The Soong-Lin ticket was listed third on the Election Day ballot as determined by a random draw. The DPP's Tsai-Su ticket appeared first, and the incumbent KMT's Ma-Wu ticket appeared second.
While analysts feared that a PFP run will split the Pan-Blue Coalition vote and hand a winnable election to the DPP (as was the case in the 2000 Presidential election), Soong has insisted that his campaign is a serious one and that he will complete his run. On election day, however, the Soong-Lin ticket underperformed and garnered a mere 2.77% of votes.
|Kuomintang||Ma Ying-jeou (incumbent)||Wu Den-yih||6,891,139||51.60%|
|Democratic Progressive Party||Tsai Ing-wen||Su Jia-chyuan||6,093,578||45.63%|
|People First Party||James Soong Chu-yu||Lin Ruey-shiung||369,588||2.77%|
See also 
- History of the Republic of China
- Politics of the Republic of China
- Elections in the Republic of China
- List of political parties in the Republic of China
- Administrative divisions of the Republic of China
- Political status of Taiwan