President Yoon Suk-yeol's disapproval rating has reached a record high of 70 percent, a poll showed Monday, as strong backlash against a proposed education policy added on to persistent concerns over high inflation and turmoil in the ruling party.
In a poll of 1,002 people conducted by Korea Society Opinion Institute (KSOI) on Friday and Saturday, 70.1 percent gave negative assessments of Yoon's performance, up 1.6 percentage points from the previous week.
Yoon's approval rating continued to hover below 30 percent, coming in at 27.5 percent, down 1.4 percentage points from a week earlier.
In a separate poll of 2,528 people conducted by pollster Realmeter from Monday to Friday, 29.3 percent responded that Yoon was doing well on state affairs, down 3.8 percentage points from the previous week.
Those who gave a negative assessment rose 3.3 percentage points in the same period to 64.5 percent, more than twofold of those who gave positive evaluations.
The pollster attributed the weekly decline to a number of factors, including Education Minister Park Soon-ae's proposal to lower the school entry age for children, a leadership row at the ruling party and persistent economic woes.
"It seems the school entry age plan sharply brought down the ratings among housewives whose favorability ratings had stayed above 40 percent," said Bae Cheol-ho, Realmeter's senior analyst.
"On top of the ruling party and opposition parties entering an emergency system phase, an imminent economic crisis and a protracted COVID-19 breakout will heap pressure on Yongsan and the ruling party rather than the main opposition," Bae added, referring to the neighborhood where the presidential office is located.
Bae said Yoon's remarks at daily Q&A sessions, which had temporarily ceased during Yoon's holiday last week, will likely affect the poll results due out next week.
Appearing for one such session Monday after a weeklong vacation, Yoon said he contemplated on the months building up to his inauguration and pledged to uphold the will of the people.
"I guess I should say my vacation was a time to reinforce my belief that at the end of the day, my duty to the people is to carefully examine the people's will and to uphold the people's will while sticking to my original intentions," he said.
Favorability ratings for the main opposition Democratic Party moved up 2.5 percentage points to 48.5 percent, rising for the 10th straight week, while that for the ruling People Power Party fell 2.6 percentage points to 35.8 percent.
The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.9 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level. The KSOI poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level. (Yonhap)