| A week has passed since the main opposition Democratic Party and lawmaker Ahn Cheol-soo`s New Political Vision Party said they will form a united coalition party. However, the new party has yet to how impact. Immediately after the declaration, media polls showed a sharp rise in support rate for the new party to narrow the gap with that of leading Saenuri Party, but the rates have stagnated soon. There are speculations now on the effect of coalition.
○ Saenuri Party outstrips in support rate
According to last week`s public survey of 2,500 adults by Real Meter, the new coalition party had a support rate of 38.3 percent, 9.5 percentage points lower than Saenuri Party`s 47.8 percent. A week earlier, the New Political Vision Party had a 19 percent support rate and Democratic Party 13.3 percent, meaning their coalition won 6 percentage points higher than the sum of their previous support rates. Nevertheless, they failed to narrow the gap with the leading party within the error range.
Korea Gallop`s survey of 1,017 people conducted last week showed 31-percent support rate for the new coalition party. According to the poll released at the end of February, before the declaration of a united party, the Democratic Party had a 15 percent rate and New Political Vision Party 18 percent, which adds up to 33 percent. The latest survey showed a decrease of 2 percentage points compared with the previous survey.
○ Pros and cons of the coalition
On Gallop`s question on the views on a united coalition, 44 percent responded they are not fond of it, while 33 percent said they were happy with it. Still another survey made by Research Plus found 34.2 percent of poll respondents opposed the coalition while 27.4 percent were in favor of it.
Eom Gyeong-yeong, vice president of The Opinion, said, "Supporters of opposition parties appear to have been disappointed at Ahn`s announcement to form a united coalition with the Democratic Party. They don`t consider it as new politics."
Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon was touted as the biggest beneficiary of the coalition, but his support rate remains sluggish. Park is known to be playing a tight match with Saenuri Party Rep. Chung Mong-joon who announced his bid for Seoul mayoral election. Kim Sang-gon, former education superintendent in Gyeonggi Province who will join the Gyeonggi provincial governor candidate race for the new coalition party, has lower support rate than the ruling party`s candidate.
The support rates will be dependent on fierce competition to gain public support.
Director Bae Jong-chan at Research and Research said, "If the new coalition party fails to properly inform that it is a coalition of the Democratic Party and New Political Vision Party, the accuracy of opinion polls will be low," adding, "Public opinion trends will be visible only when the public is fully aware of the new coalition party."