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South Korea elections: Exit polls show opposition parties increase majority

South Koreans to vote in legislative elections seen as litmus test for President Yoon Suk-yeol

South Korea’s main opposition Democratic Party (DP) and its allies are projected to increase their majority by winning up to 197 seats in the single-chamber, 300-seat legislature, a joint exit poll by three major television networks shows.

Wednesday’s elections were seen as a referendum on President Yoon Suk-yeol as voters expressed frustration about the cost of living and corruption. Voting ended at 6pm (09:00 GMT).

The exit poll by TV stations KBS, MBC and SBS suggested that the DP and its allies were forecast to win a combined 183 to 197 seats in the National Assembly.

It also projected that Yoon’s ruling People Power Party (PPP) and its satellite party would win 85 to 100 seats. If confirmed, these results would deal a massive blow to the president and make him a lame duck for his remaining three years in office.

“Certainly one thing is clear: This is not a good night for the president,” said Al Jazeera’s Eunice Kim, reporting from the capital, Seoul.

Counting is still under way across the country, and the election watchdog has said each ballot will be counted twice to ensure nothing is missed, she added.

If the projection holds, the opposition could potentially win more than 200 seats, which would give it a super majority in the National Assembly, Kim reported.

Rebuilding Korea, a liberal splinter party led by former Justice Minister Cho Kuk, was also forecast to secure 12 to 14 seats, according to the exit poll, for which nearly 360,000 voters were interviewed nationwide.

South Korea elections: Exit polls show opposition parties increase majority

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