Moon Jae-in Has Big Lead on Verge of Election

  • By Hong Young-lim

    May 04, 2017 10:00

    Moon Jae-in of the Minjoo Party had a big lead in the last polls on Tuesday before the election next Tuesday decides who will be Korea's next president.

    The poll by Kantar Public for the Chosun Ilbo puts Moon at 38.5 percent, more than 20 percentage points ahead of Hong Joon-pyo of the rump-ruling Liberty Korea Party, who enjoyed a late surge to 16.8 percent despite the taint of coming from ex-President Park Geun-hye's camp.

    Ahn Cheol-soo, the former software tycoon running on a left-of-center platform, dropped back to 15.7 percent despite promising to reform the political system.

    Trailing them by another wide margin are Sim Sang-jung of the minor progressive Justice Party with 6.8 percent and Yoo Seung-min of the breakaway conservative Bareun Party with 3.8 percent. Other candidates have a combined 0.8 percent. But a crucial 17.5 percent of voters remain undecided, so candidates have all to play for.

    Presidential candidates attend a ceremony for Buddha's Birthday at a temple in Seoul on Wednesday.

    Compared to a Kantar poll on April 7-8, just after each political party nominated candidates, Moon's support rose 2.8 percentage points and Hong's surged 9.6 points, while Ahn's plummeted from 37.5 percent as he tried to claim the center ground. Sim rose 4.2 points and Yoo 1.2 points, but the undecided camp swelled from 14.5 percent.

    Some 88 percent of registered voters said they will definitely cast their ballots in this presidential election, compared to 84.7 percent in 2012, when actual turnout was 75.8 percent. When voters who had chosen a candidate were asked if they would still change their mind, some 69 percent said no but 26.2 percent said yes.

    The poll was conducted on 1,147 people by telephone. Detailed results of the survey can be seen on the National Election Commission's website.

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