|Gyeonggi Province Governor Lee Jae-myung speaks in front of the provincial government in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, Thursday, after the Supreme Court acquitted him of Election Law violation charges. Yonhap|
By Kim Rahn
Gyeonggi Province Governor Lee Jae-myung is narrowing former Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon's lead in polls on preferred potential presidential contenders, following last week's top court ruling that removed political uncertainty surrounding him by clearing him of Election Law violation charges.
According to an opinion poll released by Realmeter, Monday, 23.3 percent of 1,000 respondents said they support Rep. Lee Nak-yon of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) as the next presidential candidate, while another 18.7 percent picked Lee Jae-myung, another liberal DPK member.
The survey was conducted a day after the governor's Supreme Court ruling.
|Rep. Lee Nak-yon of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea speaks during a forum on global health at the National Assembly in Seoul, Friday. Yonhap|
The former prime minister has enjoyed the top position in polls for nearly a year, with the support ratings recording 40.2 percent at the end of April following his winning in the general election. But the rate has gone downward since, now almost halved in the latest poll.
On the contrary, the Gyeonggi governor's favorability rating had remained around 15 percent between April and June without major changes, but has jumped by over 3 percentage points this week following the court decision.
Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl came in third with a 14.3 percent support rating, up from 10.1 percent at the end of June. He has been considered a potential presidential candidate for the conservative opposition bloc as he has been in constant conflict with the administration over corruption investigations involving pro-President Moon Jae-in figures ― although he has never expressed intention to run in the presidential race.
Some 50 percent of the surveyed people said they would keep supporting their current favorite candidates until the 2022 presidential election, while 43.5 percent said they may change their minds.