SEOUL, March 8 (Yonhap) -- The main opposition People Power Party (PPP) is leading the ruling Democratic Party (DP) in public approval in Seoul, the latest opinion poll showed Monday, a month before a mayoral by-election in the capital.
The poll conducted on 2,006 voters nationwide from Tuesday to Friday by Realmeter showed the PPP scored 34.2 percent of the support in Seoul while the DP had 29.6 percent.
The PPP retook the lead after the DP was 1.8 percentage point ahead in the previous survey by the same pollster.
The poll results came about a month before Seoul is set to vote on a new mayor on April 7.
The PPP was also maintaining a solid lead in the southeastern region -- Busan, Ulsan and South Gyeongsang Province -- with 39.9 percent of the support against the DP's 25.7 percent. On April 7, Busan, the second-biggest South Korean city, is also slated to pick its new mayor in a by-election.
Countrywide, the support rating for the PPP was 32 percent while the corresponding rate for the DP was 31 percent, up 1.3 and down 1.9 percentage points from a week earlier, respectively.
A Realmeter official said the latest poll results reflect the impact of the snowballing land speculation scandal involving employees of the state-run housing developer Korea Land and Housing Corp. (LH) as well as recent nominations of the final Seoul and Busan mayoral candidates by rival parties.
Currently, LH and other public officials are under probe for allegedly buying land in the cities of Gwangmyeong and Siheung, near Seoul, possibly using insider information before a massive state housing development project was announced there last month. President Moon Jae-in has ordered a speedy, thorough probe into the scandal.
The latest poll also showed that the minor opposition People's Party garnered 8.1 percent of the support nationwide, coming third following the PPP and the DP.
The approval rating for President Moon's state governance came to 40.1 percent, down 1.7 percentage points from the previous week, the poll results also indicated.
The disapproval rating of Moon rose 2.1 percentage points from a week earlier to reach 55.7 percent, with the remaining 4.2 percent responding that they are not sure.
The latest survey, commissioned by cable news channel YTN, has a confidence level of 95 percent with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.
Separately, another survey by pollster Ipsos showed on Monday that Ahn Cheol-soo, the Seoul mayoral candidate from the People's Party, is leading his rival from the DP Park Young-sun 47.3 percent to 39.8 percent in a hypothetical two-way race for the Seoul mayoralty.
Pitted against Oh Se-hoon, the Seoul mayoral candidate from the PPP, in a hypothetical two-way competition, Park was also lagging behind 41.6 percent to 45.3 percent, according to the poll conducted on 1,004 voters from Friday to Saturday.
Running on shared election campaign platforms against Moon, Ahn and Oh are scrambling to unify their candidacies to raise the chances of the opposition bloc's election victory.
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