Lee Jun-seok, new chairman of the main opposition People Power Party, burns incense in front of the tombs of South Korean sailors of the sunken naval ship Cheonan during a visit to the National Cemetery in Daejeon, 164 kilometers south of Seoul, on Monday. (Yonhap)
Support for the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) continued to grow last week, apparently driven by the ascent of a new leader, widening its gap with the ruling Democratic Party (DP) to nearly 10 percentage points, a poll showed Monday.
In a Realmeter survey conducted from June 7-11, the PPP scored 39.1 percent of backing, up 1.1 percentage points from the previous week. It is close to its highest-ever point of 39.4 percent posted during the first week of April.
The DP's support fell 0.5 percentage point to 29.2 percent, 9.9 percentage points lower than the PPP.
They were followed by the People's Party with 6.7 percent, the Open Democratic Party with 6 percent and the Justice Party with 3.9 percent.
Realmeter attributed the PPP's growing popularity to the rise of Lee Jun-seok, a 36-year-old politician who was elected its new leader Friday, as well as growing signs that former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl, a leading presidential hopeful, may join the party soon ahead of next year's presidential election.
Among people in their 40s, largely deemed a support base for the DP, the PPP gained 4.4 percentage points to garner 30.7 percent, while the DP lost 11.1 percentage points to 36.7 percent.
The approval rating for President Moon Jae-in rose 0.2 percentage point to 38.5 percent while disapproval was down 0.3 percentage point to 57.6 percent.
The poll was conducted on 2,512 voters aged 18 or older around the country with a margin of error of 2 percentage points. (Yonhap)