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Public support for rival parties neck and neck, Moon's approval falls again

All News 09:44 August 10, 2020

SEOUL, Aug. 10 (Yonhap) -- Public support for South Korea's main opposition United Future Party (UFP) has continued to rise, further narrowing the gap with the ruling Democratic Party (DP) to 0.5 percentage point, a poll showed Monday.

The DP's approval rating kept dropping, as a growing number of voters, especially in Seoul and nearby Gyeonggi Province, are in a fury over skyrocketing housing prices and rent.

In a five-day Realmeter survey of 2,520 people, aged 18 or older, nationwide through last Friday, 35.1 percent of respondents expressed support for the DP, down 3.2 percentage points from the previous week.

The UFP's rating gained 2.9 percentage points to 34.6 percent. The margin of error is plus and minus 2 percentage points.

The rating marks the highest in the pollster's weekly survey since the party was formed in February through the merger of the Liberty Korea Party and a few smaller conservative parties ahead of the April 15 parliamentary elections. The UFP suffered a crushing loss in the elections.

The gap in public support between the rival parties was 0.5 points, the lowest of all time.

This file photo shows lawmakers attending a National Assembly session. (Yonhap)

President Moon Jae-in's approval rating declined 2.5 percentage points to 43.9 percent.

Many agree that weeks of decline in the ruling bloc's approval ratings are mainly attributable to unrelenting hikes in apartment prices and housing rent in the greater Seoul area, home to around half of the nation's 52-million population.

The Moon administration has come under fierce criticism over its housing market policy. Revelations that some senior Cheong Wa Dae officials have owned two houses or more have fueled public anger.

Last Friday, Moon's Chief of Staff Noh Young-min and all five senior secretaries under his command offered to resign, saying their actions were meant to take responsibility for the "comprehensive recent situation."

Realmeter said UFP lawmaker Yun Hee-suk's floor speech late last month condemning the government's real estate policy also appears to have positively affected the UFP.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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