The ruling Saenuri party has failed to winning the parliamentary majority in Wednesday’s general election if exit polls are correct, though it managed to stay ahead of its main opposition rival, The Minjoo Party of Korea.
The lackluster performance of the ruling party, combined with the rise of a new centrist opposition, is expected to result in a majority opposition here for the first time in 16 years.
The exit polls respectively conducted by the nation’s top three broadcasters KBS, MBC, and SBS predicted that the ruling Saenuri Party could win 118-147 seats out of the 300 total, while the Minjoo Party is likely to claim 97-128 seats.
All three scenarios commonly showed the ruling camp to have fallen under the 150-seat mark needed for a majority.
The Minjoo notably scored an apparent majority in the Seoul-Gyeonggi area, which embraces almost half of the nation’s constituencies as well as the largest number of swing voters.
One of the most symbolic battles was that of former party chief and incumbent lawmaker Rep. Chung Sye-kyun, who led former Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon 51 percent to 42.4 percent, in KBS exit polls.
The newborn minority People’s Party was forecasted to have won 31-43 seats in total, in much likeliness to have accomplished its target of 35.
The party’s cochairman and potential presidential runner Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo was shown in polls to have a commanding lead over Saenuri rival Lee Jun-seok.
The nation’s total voter turnout stood at 57.9 percent as of 7 p.m., up from the 54.2 percent back in the 2012 election.
By Bae Hyun-jung (email@example.com