(ATTN: ADDS poll results on presidential hopefuls in last paras)
SEOUL, Sept. 17 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in's approval rating has fallen to 36 percent, while that of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) has surged to the highest level in five years, a Gallup Korea poll showed Friday.
In the three-day survey of 1,001 voters nationwide through Thursday, 36 percent gave a positive assessment of Moon's leadership, down 5 percentage points from a week earlier. The proportion of those who disapprove of it rose 5 percentage points to 57 percent, leading to a net rating of minus 21 percentage points, Gallup said.
Many of those who have an unfavorable view of the president cited his liberal administration's real estate policy and lack of progress in improving the people's lives amid the protracted COVID-19 pandemic.
In contrast, public support for the conservative PPP jumped 6 percentage points to 34 percent, the highest point since the start of months-long massive street candlelight vigils in 2016 against then President Park Geun-hye.
The ruling Democratic Party's approval dipped 1 percentage point to 32 percent, with the presidential election half a year away.
Gallup also conducted a "favorability" poll on the four leading presidential candidates of the rival parties.
Gyeonggi Gov. Lee Jae-myung of the ruling party ranked first with 34 percent, followed by former Prosecutor-General Yoon Seok-youl of the main opposition party with 30 percent.
Rep. Hong Joon-pyo of the PPP won 28 percent and Lee Nak-yon, former head of the DP, 24 percent. Both the DP and the PPP are holding primaries to pick their single candidates for the March 9 presidential election.
The Gallup survey's margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points with a confidence level of 95 percent.
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