President Tsai Ing-wen resigned the post of party leader after the DPP performed poorly in local elections in November. Lai’s elevation to party chairman, in an uncontested vote among DPP members, positions him as the likely DPP presidential candidate for 2024, though he has yet to announce that he will run.
- China will demonise Lai in an effort to dissuade voters from supporting the DPP; this will help Lai at home but make Washington wary of him.
- US support for Taiwan, especially through security cooperation and arms sales, will increase, even under a Lai administration.
- The recently elected mayor of New Taipei could emerge as the most credible prospective KMT presidential candidate.