Candidates of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy, or NPAD and independent candidates are still out in front of their Saenuri Party rivals in six of seven key battlegrounds in the June 4th local elections.
That includes the races for mayor in the cities of Seoul and Incheon and for governor in the Gangwon-do and Chungcheongbuk-do provinces.
An opinion poll conducted by Metrix has the incumbent mayor of Seoul Park Won-soon with a comfortable lead over his conservative rival Chung Mong-joon , while in the race for Gyeonggi-do governor, the opposition candidate Kim Jin-pyo has made up ground against the ruling party's Nam Kyung-pil and now leads by zero.2 percentage points.
The most surprising turn of events may just come from Busan.
The ruling party has held a firm grip on the position of mayor in the southern port city for decades, but the recent polls show independent candidate Oh Geo-don with a comfortable lead over the Saenuri Party candidate.
With just over a week until election day, the ruling party candidate is in the lead in just one of the seven key races, that being for mayor of the administrative city of Sejong, where Saenuri candidate Yoo Han-sik is up against his NPAD rival.
"Korea’s local election results are considered a barometer of public sentiment for the ruling party and the government, which has borne the brunt of criticism in recent weeks over its handling of the April ferry disaster that left more than 300 people dead.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News."