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(LEAD) Rival parties' leading contenders in tight race for president, poll shows

All News 14:38 August 23, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS inquires on internal competitions in paras 5-6)

SEOUL, Aug. 23 (Yonhap) -- Two leading contenders in South Korea's presidential race -- Yoon Seok-youl and Lee Jae-myung -- are still neck and neck, with the election less than seven months away, a survey showed Monday.

In the two-day poll on 1,007 voters nationwide through last Saturday by the Korea Society Opinion Institute (KSOI), former Prosecutor General Yoon of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) had 29.8 percent of support, down 0.8 percentage point from a week earlier.

Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) gained 0.6 percentage point to 26.8 percent, according to the survey on who is "suitable" to become the country's next president. The election is slated for March 9, 2022.

Yoon Seok-youl of the main opposition People Power Party (L) and Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Democratic Party, in a photo provided by Yonhap News TV (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Rep. Lee Nak-yon, former head of the DP, ranked third with 12.4 percent, down 0.5 percentage point, followed by Rep. Hong Joon-pyo of the PPP. Hong's rating rose 1.1 percentage points to 8.4 percent.

In an inquiry on who is suitable among those in the liberal bloc, the Gyeonggi governor maintained the No. 1 spot with 29.3 percent, up 2 percentage points, while the former DP leader fell 0.2 percentage point to 18.7 percent. The ruling party's primaries are under way, with the final winner to be decided in early October.

In the conservative group, Yoon's rating made a 1.7 percentage-point rise to 28.4 percent. Hong, in particular, jumped 3.9 percentage points to 20.5 percent. The PPP is preparing to kick off its primaries early next month.

President Moon Jae-in's approval rating climbed 0.7 percentage point to 39.5 percent, with the DP's rating dipping 0.1 percentage point to 31.3 percent and the PPP's shedding 3.6 percentage points to 35 percent.

The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points with a confidence level of 95 percent.


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