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(LEAD) Moon's approval rating at all-time low of 34.1 pct: Realmeter

All News 09:41 March 22, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES polls on Seoul mayoral election, presidential hopefuls in last 7 paras; ADDS photos)
By Lee Chi-dong

SEOUL, March 22 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in's approval rating has fallen to its lowest point of 34.1 percent since he took office in 2017, Realmeter said Monday, citing the negative impact from a massive real estate speculation scandal involving public officials.

In its five-day survey through last Friday on 2,510 adults nationwide, support for the president dropped 3.6 percentage points week-on-week. The previous low of 35.5 percent was recorded in the first week of January.

The proportion of those who disapprove of his presidency jumped 4.8 percentage points to 62.2 percent, the highest mark in the pollster's tracking research.

President Moon Jae-in (Yonhap)

The ruling Democratic Party's approval rating also dived 2 percentage points to the lowest of 28.1 percent since the launch of the liberal Moon administration, according to the pollster. The previous low was 29.3 percent posted in the starting week of 2021.

Public support for the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) gained 3.1 percentage points to 35.5 percent.

In Seoul, where a mayoral by-election will be held April 7, the ruling party lost 1.4 percentage points to 26.2 percent, while the PPP added 2.5 percentage points to 38.9 percent.

A Realmeter official said the property-related issue is apparently continuing to deal a heavy blow to the ruling bloc despite Moon's public apology over it.

Dozens of officials at the Korea Land and Housing Corp. (LH), a state-owned enterprise in charge of the public housing supply, and other government offices, as well as some lawmakers, were found to have bought undeveloped land around the capital ahead of announcements on plans to create new residential towns there.

The margin of error is plus or minus 2 percentage points with a confidence level of 95 percent.

(LEAD) Moon's approval rating at all-time low of 34.1 pct: Realmeter - 2
From left are Park Young-sun of the ruling Democratic Party, Oh Se-hoon of the main opposition People Power Party and Ahn Cheol-soo of the minor opposition People's Party, who are running in the April 7 Seoul mayoral by-elections. (Yonhap)

A separate poll by Ipsos found that both of the opposition party candidates -- Oh Se-hoon and Ahn Cheol-soo -- are leading Park Young-sun of the DP by big margins in the Seoul mayoral race.

Oh of the PPP and Ahn, leader of the minor opposition People's Party (PP), have agreed on a single candidacy. The two parties plan to pick a "unified candidate" this week on the basis of two independent public opinion polls.

In a hypothetical two-way race, surveyed by Ipsos on 1,002 voters in Seoul last Friday and Saturday, Oh won with 50.6 percent over Park with 36.8 percent.

Ahn was in front with 52.3 percent in an one-on-one competition with the DP flag bearer with 35.6 percent. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points with a confidence level of 95 percent.

From left are former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl, former Democratic Party leader Lee Nak-yon and Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung. (Yonhap)

Meanwhile, Yoon Seok-youl, a former prosecutor general, is maintaining his lead in a survey of who is fit to become South Korea's next president.

Public support for him came to 39.1 percent in the two-day poll by the Korea Society Opinion Institute (KSOI) of 1,007 people, aged 18 and older, across the nation from last Friday, up 1.9 percentage points from 37.2 percent announced last Monday.

Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung of the DP and former DP leader Lee Nak-yon garnered 21.7 percent and 11.9 percent, respectively. The presidential election is slated for March 9, 2022. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points with a confidence level of 95 percent.

Yoon resigned from the top prosecutorial post in early March, protesting against the Moon administration's prosecution reform drive.

Keen attention is being paid to the odds of Yoon becoming the flag bearer of the opposition bloc critical of Moon in the election.


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