Former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl (L) and the main opposition People Power Party chief Lee Jun-seok pose for photos during their meeting at the National Assembly in southwestern Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)
Public support for the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) has bounced back after declining for six consecutive weeks, a poll showed Monday.
The Realmeter survey results came as Yoon Seok-youl, a former top prosecutor who is the front-runner in various polls on presidential hopefuls, joined the conservative party Friday.
His decision ended months of uncertainty over whether and when he would become a member of the PPP with hopes of winning the presidential election slated for March next year.
In the Realmeter survey of 2,525 people nationwide, aged 18 and older, conducted over five working days last week, 35.2 percent of respondents expressed support for the party, up 1.5 percentage points from a week earlier.
The approval rating of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) dropped 1.5 percentage points to 33.6 percent, surpassed by that of the PPP after leading the main opposition in the previous two polls.
Among female voters, especially, the PPP's approval rating gained 3.5 percentage points and the DP's rating tumbled 4.6 percentage points.
A controversy erupted recently over the street wall paintings disparaging or ridiculing Yoon's wife regarding her private life before marriage. Observers say it might have stoked up sympathy among some female voters.
Despite the controversy, a separate survey showed that Yoon's support rating also rebounded after he entered the PPP.
According to the poll conducted by the Korea Society Opinion Institute from Friday to Saturday, Yoon's rating climbed 5.4 percentage points from the previous week to 32.3 percent.
The rise stretched his distance ahead of the runner-up, Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung affiliated with the ruling Democratic Party, who had 27.4 percent.
The two latest polls had a 95 percent confidence level. (Yonhap)