This file photo from Wednesday, shows Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung speaking to reporters at the provincial government's building in Suwon, south of Seoul. (Yonhap)
Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung has widened his lead in a poll of potential presidential candidates released Thursday, with his closest rivals falling behind marginally compared to two weeks ago.
In the survey conducted jointly by four polling agencies on 1,007 people over the age of 18 from Monday to Wednesday, 27 percent picked Gov. Lee as their favored candidate in next year's presidential election.
The poll was conducted by Embrain Public, Kstat Research, Korea Research International and Hankook Research.
Lee Nak-yon, chairman of the ruling Democratic Party (DP), came in second, with 12 percent, followed by Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl, with 8 percent.
Gov. Lee, whose rating remained the same from two weeks ago in a similar poll, has ended up widening his lead, as support for the DP chief and Yoon fell 2 percentage points and 1 percentage point, respectively.
Of the respondents, 34 percent either said there were no adequate political figures to become president or declined to give an answer to the query asking for their preferred figure.
In terms of regional party support, the DP came first in both Seoul and the southeastern region encompassing Busan, Ulsan and South Gyeongsang Province, with 34 percent and 30 percent, respectively, amid the upcoming April mayoral by-elections in the nation's capital and Busan.
The poll had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. (Yonhap)