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Proposed new merged conservative party has 25% approval rating

Hwang Kyo-ahn, head of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, holds a press conference at the party's headquarters in western Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)
Hwang Kyo-ahn, head of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, holds a press conference at the party's headquarters in western Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

One in four South Koreans said they would support a new party created after the merger of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party and the minor New Conservative Party, receiving a lower rating than the ruling Democratic Party, a poll showed Wednesday.

Commissioned by online news outlet OhmyNews, Realmeter conducted a survey of 1,002 people adults nationwide between Monday and Tuesday. 

In the survey, the approval rating for the new integrated conservative party came to 25.1 percent. Under the assumption that a new party is created, the approval rating for the Democratic Party and the Liberty Korea Party were at 36.6 percent and 32.1 percent, respectively.

The survey came amid talks over potential integration of the conservative bloc which are underway -- the Liberty Korea Party seeks to join hands with the New Conservative Party, led by former Bareunmirae Party chief Yoo Seong-min, in a bid to win the April general elections.

However, the poll found that the merger would translate to less support than when they continue as two separate parties.

In the same poll, Realmeter surveyed the approval rating of the parties if the conservative bloc doesn’t integrate.

Of the respondents, 32.1 percent supported the Liberty Korea Party and 3.8 percent backed the New Conservative Party, surpassing 25.1 percent of the proposed new right-wing party.

“If the parties with similar political tendencies are integrated, there will be a ‘plus alpha’ in the approval ratings, but this time, it seems that it has not been achieved due to differences between supporters of both parties,” a Realmeter official said.

Yoo of the New Conservative Party said the first meeting to discuss consolidation with the main opposition party will kick off Wednesday.

The two parties have agreed to hold a closed-door consultations on the proposed integration.

Hwang Kyo-ahn, leader of the Liberty Korea Party, stressed that the consolidation is the conservative group’s obligation and said opposition to the integration will “help the Moon Jae-in administration.”

By Park Han-na (hnpark@heraldcorp.com)
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