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Close Races in Key Constituencies

Posted April. 05, 2008 04:03,   


With parliamentary elections just four days away, the latest polls show the ruling Grand National Party ahead in 100 out of 245 constituencies nationwide as of Friday.

Polls also indicate that the opposition United Democratic Party ahead in 49 other constituencies, while the Liberty Forward Party is ahead in seven constituencies.

The Creative Korea Party is ahead in one constituency in Seoul and one in Daegu. Meanwhile, independent candidates lead in 13 constituencies, nationwide.

Fierce competition has been brewing in 74 constituencies, including 43 in the Seoul metropolitan area, as candidates run neck-and-neck.

Of these, around 50 constituencies are classified as areas with intense competition (within the margin of error of 5 percent) while some 10 districts are so close that the rankings of the candidates in various polls conducted during the same period widely differ.

If the overall trend sustains, the GNP is expected to garner some 28 proportional representation seats, while the UDP is likely to gain 15 seats. There are a total of 54 proportional representation seats up for grabs.

If the GNP is able to grab some 30 seats out of the 74 hotly contested districts, it may obtain more than 160 seats out of the total 299 seats, which includes proportional representation seats. Many experts project the GNP will garner the majority of seats in the 18th National Assembly.

The UDP, however, is projected to obtain less than 100 seats, even if it wins in constituencies where its candidates are running neck-and-neck.

More than 10 candidates from the Pro-Park Alliance are expected to advance to the National Assembly based on the districts it is expected to win, its proportional representation seats, and victories won by independent candidates who are allied with the former GNP chairwoman, Park Geun-hye.

In the Seoul metropolitan area, which has 111 out of the total 245 districts nationwide, the GNP is reported to be ahead in 48 districts, followed by the UDP in 17. The Creative Korea Party is expected to gain one district, and independents two districts.

The GNP is projected to secure a majority of the Seoul metropolitan area which is critical to sweeping the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The Liberty Forward Party is ahead in seven of 24 races in the Chungcheong provinces, followed by the UDP in five and the GNP in two.

Polls show the LFP gaining most of its seats in Daejeon and South Chungcheong Province. Election results in nine hotly contested districts can change the ruling party’s position in this region.

As for the Gyeongsang provinces where 68 seats are up for grabs, the GNP is ahead in 48, while the Pro-Park Alliance leads in one, and independents in six. Out of 13 races, where competition is fierce, more than half involve independent candidates, who failed to grab the party nomination from the GNP, and officially nominated GNP candidates.

The UDP leads in 25 constituencies in the Jeolla provinces with 31 seats. It is winning in three areas and engaged in fierce competition with independent candidates in three districts. Those who failed to garner a UDP nomination ticket have shown good results thus far.

Gangwon (eight seats) and Jeju provinces (three seats) do not show any preference for specific parties as more than half the constituencies are classified as still up for grabs.