Impact of Sewol-ho ferry disaster, replacement of PM on local electionsUpdated: 2014-05-23 22:49:08 (KST)
The failed handling of the Sewol-ho ferry disaster has hit the incumbent administration hard.
Since the accident in mid-April, President Park Geun-hye's approval rating had been on a steady decline, dropping to 51 percent in the second week of May, according to public opinion research firm Realmeter.
But the president's apology to the nation this week may have turned the tide.
Mediaresearch has Park's approval rating rebounding to the 60 percent range for the first time since the ferry disaster, up to 62 percent.
Research View also says President Park's public address on Monday pushed up her positive ratings by four percentage points this week, compared to the previous one.
Both polls surveyed some one-thousand people nationwide over the age of 19.
Political analysts say her appointing of reform-minded former Supreme Court Justice Ahn Dai-hee as new prime minister and accepting the resignations of her top security advisors, could also play a role in gathering conservative support at the elections.
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"Due to prevailing negative views about the ruling party following its poor handling of the disaster, conservative-inclined voters weren't able to outwardly express their support for the ruling party. The president's call for changes means the ability to support conservative candidates has been restored to some degree."
However, in a survey conducted by Research&Research, 40 percent of respondents said the ferry disaster affected their voting decisions, and nearly 60 percent of them said their support has shifted to opposition parties.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.
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