Opponents neck-and-neck in South Korea election polls | News | DW | 11.04.2012
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Opponents neck-and-neck in South Korea election polls

South Koreans have finished voting in this year's legislative election. Exit polls point towards a close race.

Rival parties appeared to be tied in South Korea's legislative election Wednesday, a key indicator of voter sentiment in the run up to the country's presidential vote in December, according to exit polls that were released after voting finished.

Exit polls said the ruling conservative New Frontier Party (NFP) and opposing center left Democratic United Party (DUP) were neck-and-neck, with the official result not due to be announced until midnight (15:00 GMT).

Both parties had won between 131 and 147 seats in the country's 300-member National Assembly, according to KBS TV.

The polls seem to confirm the perspective that the ruling party is failing to preserve its parliamentary majority and the chance of a second presidential victory at the end of the year is slipping through its fingers.

The mounting economic concerns in the country due to rising prices, high education and housing costs, and unemployment problems, seem to be boosting the DUP's popularity. In contrast, voters seem to have largely ignored an impending rocket launch by North Korea due to take place this week - an issue some analysts thought might benefit the NFP.

Turnout was higher than four years ago, at 53.7 percent compared to 46.1 percent, according to interim figures published by election officials, possibly the result of a high turnout of young voters.

sej/msh (Reuters, AFP)