The Green Party Taiwan (GPT) represents an important case both for scholars of environmental politics but also Taiwanese politics. Established in 1996, it is the oldest Asian green party and is one of the most active parties in the Asia-Pacific Greens network. The party has enjoyed mixed electoral fortunes. After promising early election results, the GPT virtually ceased contesting elections between 2000 and 2005. However, from 2006 the party began a gradual revival in its vote shares. This process culminated in the January 2012 Legislative Yuan election when the GPT surprised many observers by coming fifth in the proportional party vote. Considering the limited resources at the party's disposal this was quite an achievement. In this study, we examine and explain the changing electoral fortunes of the GPT since its establishment in 1996. We are interested to see whether standard theories for explaining small or ecological party success, that have been developed in western Europe, work well in the Taiwan context. Our research is based on a range of new fieldwork conducted between 2012 and 2014. These include in-depth interviews with campaigners and party leaders, focus group sessions with party leaders and candidates, and interviews with party supporters.
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