Main opposition’s approval rating drops again amid rift between heavyweights

August 16, 2021

Public support for the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) has fallen after a two-week rise, a poll showed Monday amid a conflict between the party’s two key figures — Lee Jun-seok and Yoon Seok-youl.

In the Realmeter survey on 2,512 people, aged 18 and older, nationwide from last Monday through Friday, the PPP’s approval rating dipped 0.5 percentage point to 37.3 percent from a week earlier. The ruling Democratic Party’s rating gained 1.4 percentage points to 33.5 percent.

The PPP, in particular, suffered a decline in support from its traditional supporter base of conservative voters, with the rating sinking 3.1 percentage points to 61.3 percent.

Local media have paid keen attention to a rift between Lee, head of the PPP, and Yoon, a leading presidential contender of the party, in recent days.

The two are seen as locked in a power game ahead of the start of the party’s race to pick its candidate for the presidential election slated for May 2022.

Lee Jun-seok (R), leader of the People Power Party, and Yoon Seok-youl, a front-runner in the presidential race (Yonhap)

Lee Jun-seok (R), leader of the People Power Party, and Yoon Seok-youl, a front-runner in the presidential race (Yonhap)

The party’s committee in charge of preparing for primaries has been pushing to hold a public debate this week of more than a dozen party officials seeking to run in the presidential election.

But Yoon, a political rookie who was a longtime prosecutor, is apparently opposed to the plan. His aides say that such an event is unnecessary prior to the official registration of runners in primaries to kick off as early as in late August.

Meanwhile, President Moon Jae-in’s approval rating climbed 0.5 percentage point to 42 percent in the Realmeter’s tracking poll. The margin of error is puls or minus 2 percentage points with a confidence level of 95 percent.

A weekly survey by the Korea Society Opinion Institute (KSOI) showed that Moon’s approval rating has dived 4.3 percentage points to 40.2 percent. It conducted the poll on 1,007 voters across South Korea on Friday and Saturday.

Asked about who is suitable to become the country’s next president, 30.6 percent chose Yoon, up 2.3 percentage points from the previous survey.

Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) lost 2.2 percentage points to 26.2 percent, and Lee Nak-yon, former chairman of the DP, shed 3.3 percentage points to 12.9 percent. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.