Published: 14:54, April 19, 2024
Embattled Yoon sees approval rating plummet to record low
By Yang Han in Hong Kong
Photographers take pictures next to a television screen broadcasting live footage of South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol delivering a speech on his medical reform plans, at a railway station in Seoul on April 1, 2024. (PHOTO / AFP)

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol’s approval rating dropped to its lowest level since he took office two years ago, according to the results of a weekly opinion poll published on Friday.

Yoon’s approval rating plummeted to 23 percent in the survey by Gallup Korea, down from 34 percent a week before. Sixty-eight percent of respondents disapproved of his performance, up 10 percentage points from the previous poll.

Among those respondents who gave a negative assessment of Yoon’s performance, 18 percent said the reason was the economy, 17 percent of the people cited his lack of communication, and 10 percent pointed to Yoon’s unilateral governance style.

The ruling People Power Party’s approval rating was 30 percent, while that of the main opposition Democratic Party was 31 percent

Other reasons for their negative view on Yoon included his plan to increase the medical school admission quota and foreign policy.

ALSO READ: Yoon pledges to ‘listen’ to South Koreans after general election setback

The latest poll of 1,000 adults was conducted from April 16 to 18 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

The plunge in Yoon’s approval rating came after his ruling People Power Party (PPP) suffered a crushing defeat in the parliamentary elections on April 10. The PPP won only 108 seats in the 300-member National Assembly.

Among the survey respondents, 47 percent of them expressed satisfaction over the election result while 43 percent said they were not satisfied.

The PPP’s approval rating was 30 percent, while that of the main opposition Democratic Party was 31 percent.

ALSO READ: Yoon vows reform after landslide loss in parliamentary elections

The Korea Innovation Party, a new liberal party launched by former justice minister Cho Kuk, gained an approval rating of 14 percent.

After winning the 2022 presidential race by a narrow margin, Yoon took office with an approval rating of 52 percent. His predecessor Moon Jae-in’s highest approval rating was 84 percent and 29 percent at its lowest.