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Ahn Cheol-soo’s party surges in polls

Ahn Cheol-soo (right) is seen in full protective gear at Daegu Dongsan Hospital in the coronavirus-hit city of Daegu, where he has volunteered to join the medical team treating COVID-19 patients, on March 2. (Yonhap)
Ahn Cheol-soo (right) is seen in full protective gear at Daegu Dongsan Hospital in the coronavirus-hit city of Daegu, where he has volunteered to join the medical team treating COVID-19 patients, on March 2. (Yonhap)

The tentatively named People’s Party led by Ahn Cheol-soo is rising in the polls on the back of support from young and centrist voters, a survey showed Monday.

The party’s approval rating came in at 4.7 percent between March 2 and March 6, up 3 percentage points from a week earlier, when it lagged behind in the 1 percent range, according to a survey by local pollster Realmeter.

The hike comes amid much-publicized volunteer work by former physician Ahn and his spouse at a hospital that treats COVID-19 patients in virus-hit Daegu.

Realmeter surveyed 2,527 eligible voters nationwide aged 18 years or older between March 2 and March 6.

The People’s Party garnered 6.9 percent support from those in their 20s, up 4.8 percentage points, while support from those in their 30s increased 7.6 percentage points from 0.5 percent to 8.1 percent, the survey showed.

Ahn’s party had an approval rating of 7.1 percent among respondents who identified themselves as centrists, compared with 2.6 percent a week earlier.

The party also racked up increased support from students, working people and housewives, the survey showed.

Meanwhile, the ruling Democratic Party of Korea’s approval rating rose 0.7 percentage point to 41.7 percent.

Despite a letter from former President Park Geun-hye calling for unity within the conservative bloc, support for the main opposition United Future Party climbed 0.2 percentage point to 31.2 percent, the survey showed.

The minor progressive Justice Party narrowly edged out the People’s Party with 4.9 percent approval, up 0.6 percentage point from the last week of February.

By Kim Bo-gyung (lisakim425@heraldcorp.com)
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