PPP supporters pick Kim as favorite for party leader

SEOUL-- Rep. Kim Gi-hyeon of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) is leading in the race for party leadership, multiple polls showed Wednesday.

Kim was ahead of the others with 35.5 percent, followed by former lawmaker Na Kyung-won with 21.6 percent and Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo with 19.9 percent, according to a joint survey of 397 PPP supporters conducted by Kookmin Research Group and Ace Research and Consulting Group between Saturday and Monday

Support for Kim rose sharply from 15.2 percent in a previous poll, while support for Na fell 9.2 percentage points from the previous poll.

The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.

Na has not officially announced her bid yet, but she has drawn keen media attention due to her row with the office of President Yoon Suk Yeol.

Yoon's office is widely believed to be backing Kim.

A separate survey of 836 voters conducted in the same period by Jowon C&I showed Kim led the race at 34.3 percent, followed by Na at 22.8 percent and Ahn at 15.4 percent.

It had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.

A survey of 430 voters conducted Monday and Sunday by R&Search showed respondents picked Kim as their favorite for leader at 35 percent, with Na and Ahn trailing at 23.3 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.

The party is scheduled to hold a national convention on March 8 to pick a new leader.

The next leader will be decided only by a vote of party members, and a run-off election will be held unless anyone wins a majority of votes.

Source: Yonhap News Agency