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Gap in rival parties' approval ratings narrows to single digit: poll

Politics 11:46 January 31, 2019

SEOUL, Jan. 31 (Yonhap) -- The gap in the approval ratings for South Korea's two main rival parties has been reduced to a single digit for the first time since the inauguration of the liberal Moon Jae-in government, a pollster said Thursday.

Realmeter's poll of 1,505 adults nationwide showed that the ruling Democratic Party's approval rating fell 0.9 percentage point from the previous week to 37.8 percent, while that of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) rose 1.8 percentage points to 28.5 percent.

The liberal Democratic Party suffered a third weekly decline and lost support from people in their 40s and 50s and residents in Daegu, North Gyeongsang Province, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province.

Gap in rival parties' approval ratings narrows to single digit: poll - 1

By contrast, the conservative LKP's rating rose for the third consecutive week, helped by greater support from people in their 40s and older and residents in the capital area.

The poll conducted on request from tbs radio from Monday to Wednesday has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, with a confidence level of 95 percent.

"Former Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn's entry into the LKP and the arrest of South Gyeongsang Gov. Kim Kyoung-soo (on opinion rigging charges) appear to have affected the changes in the two parties' approval ratings," Realmeter said.

The gap in the approval ratings of the two main rival parties narrowed from 12 percentage points last week to 9.3 points. The gap was larger than 40 points in May 2017, when Moon took office.

Meanwhile, the approval rating for President Moon edged down 0.2 percentage point to 47.5 percent in the latest Realmeter poll, marking a third consecutive week of decline.

The pollster said Moon's rating retreated after the arrest of Kim, known as a confidant of the president.

ycm@yna.co.kr
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