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Lee Nak-yon, Hwang Kyo-ahn lead poll of prospective presidential candidates

Politics 11:13 October 01, 2019

SEOUL, Oct. 1 (Yonhap) -- Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon and Hwang Kyo-ahn, a former prime minister now serving as chairman of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP), are neck and neck in a new popularity poll of South Korea's prospective presidential candidates, a pollster said Tuesday.

In a poll of 2,506 adults nationwide conducted by Realmeter from Sept. 23-27, Lee, a liberal politician, was favored by 20.2 percent of the respondents, topping its list of 14 prospective presidential hopefuls.

Hwang, a conservative who served as the prime minister from 2015 to 2017 before jumping into politics last year, was supported by 19.9 percent, the pollster said.

Notably, Cho Kuk, the scandal-hit justice minister, ranked a distant third by garnering support from 13 percent, Realmeter said, adding he was included in its poll on prospective presidential candidates for the first time.

These file photos show Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon (L) and Hwang Kyo-ahn, chairman of the Liberty Korea Party. (Yonhap)

In a similar poll carried out by the same pollster in August, Lee and Hwang were supported by 25.1 percent and 19.5 percent, respectively. Lee suffered a loss of 4.9 percentage points over the past month, halting his sixth consecutive monthly rally, whereas Hwang gained 0.4 percentage point in the same period. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points with a confidence level of 95 percent.

"Cho appears to have absorbed support of floating voters from both ruling and opposition camps. The prospective presidential race has turned into a two-way competition between Lee and Hwang, with Cho catching up with them," a Realmeter official said.

Meanwhile, Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung ranked fourth with 6 percent support, down 1.9 percentage points from a month ago, and former LKP chairman Hong Joon-pyo was fifth with 4.5 percent, down 0.9 percentage point from August, according to Realmeter.

ycm@yna.co.kr
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