Poll gap between parties narrows

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Poll gap between parties narrows

The gap in the approval ratings for Korea’s two main rival parties has been reduced to a single digit for the first time since the inauguration of the liberal Moon Jae-in government, a poll showed Thursday.

Realmeter’s poll of 1,505 adults nationwide showed that the ruling Democratic Party’s (DP) approval rating fell 0.9 percentage points from the previous week to 37.8 percent, while that of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) rose 1.8 percentage points to 28.5 percent.

The liberal DP suffered a third weekly decline and lost support from people in their 40s and 50s and residents in Daegu, North Gyeongsang, Incheon and Gyeonggi.

By contrast, the conservative LKP’s rating rose for the third consecutive week, helped by greater support from people in their 40s and older and residents in the capital area.

The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, with a confidence level of 95 percent.

“Former Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn’s entry into the LKP and the arrest of South Gyeongsang Gov. Kim Kyoung-soo [on charges of opinion rigging] appear to have affected the changes in the two parties’ approval ratings,” Realmeter said.

The gap in the approval ratings of the two main rival parties narrowed from 12 percentage points last week to 9.3 points.

The gap was larger than 40 points in May 2017, when Moon first took office.

Meanwhile, the approval rating for Moon edged down 0.2 percentage points to 47.5 percent in the latest Realmeter poll, a third consecutive week of decline.

The pollster said Moon’s rating retreated after the arrest of Kim, known as an ally of the president.

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