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Yoon's approval rating sinks to all-time low following election loss

April 18, 2024 - 16:46 By Son Ji-hyoung

A television screen at Incheon Airport shows President Yoon Suk Yeol delivering his opening remarks at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk Yeol's job approval rating hit an all-time low in the third week of April, as the ruling bloc reels from the repercussions of massive losses in the April 10 general election, a poll showed Thursday.

Yoon's approval rating came to just 27 percent, the lowest since Yoon took office in May 2022, according to a poll conducted by the National Barometer Survey. The previous low was 28 percent in the second week of August 2022.

The president's popularity plunged by 11 percentage points from two weeks prior, in the last survey before the legislative election. It was the second-biggest drop following one Yoon suffered in the second week of July 2022.

The National Barometer Survey refers to a biweekly poll of public opinion jointly gauged by four pollsters: Embrain Public, KSTAT Research, Korea Research and Hankook Research.

The poll also came out after Yoon's first public speech following last week's general election. On Tuesday, Yoon fell short of apologizing for the election loss during a televised speech at a Cabinet meeting. An explanation from a senior official of the presidential office followed later in the day to tell reporters that Yoon had expressed an apology behind closed doors.

The pollster also suggested that livelihood concerns such as inflation and voters' determination to bring the ruling bloc to judgment were the two most decisive factors of the election outcome, which allowed opposition parties to win nearly two-thirds of the parliamentary seats beginning in late May.

Yoon is at loggerheads over ways to pick up the pieces through nominations in key posts, including for chief of staff and prime minister. Yoon's office has been under siege for considering various conservative figures, just as rumors that he could consider figures close to his liberal predecessor Moon Jae-in have perplexed political circles.