This post is mainly a reference tool for later posts to help me (an any readers who might happen to come across this blog) keep up with movement ahead of the elections on May 31. First, let me extensively quote this piece from Jung Sung-ki at the Korea Times (NOTE: Jung has not gotten the memo on the changed spelling of Korean cities and provinces. I will use the updated spellings but I think you can keep up.):
The GNP is leading in the 11 large cities and provinces, including Seoul, Pusan and Kyonggi Province, while Uri’s probable candidates are doing well in Taejon and North Cholla Province, according to the survey of 11,500 adults across the country. The survey, conducted by the state-run Korea Broadcasting System (KBS) over the weekend, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.
GNP’s Oh Se-hoon, an attorney, is leading the Seoul mayoral race over former Justice Minister Kang Kum-sil of the governing party, the poll said. Oh won 45.6 percent of support, while Kang garnered 30 percent.
The poll said Rep. Kim Moon-soo of the GNP is taking the lead in the race for Kyonggi Province governorship, with 39.2 percent over the Uri Party’s Chin Dae-je, former minister of information and communication, with 22.2 percent.
Other regions where the GNP is gaining the upper hand included Taegu, Inchon, Ulsan, Kangwon Province, North Chungchong Province, South Chungchong Province, North Kyongsang Province and South Kyongsang Province, the survey said.
The Chungcheong results must be hard for Uri, considering the amount of political capital they spent on the attempted capital move. Let's move on:
The minor opposition Democratic Party (DP) is leading in South Cholla Province and Kwangju, its traditional stronghold, it said.
Governor Kim Tae-hwan of Cheju Province, an independent, is beating GNP’s Hyun Myung-kwan, former vice chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries, in the race in Cheju.
I once said that the Democratic Party doesn't have to be popular everywhere, only in the Southwest (I'll see if I can dig up that piece later) and they may pick up as many major seats as Uri with only a third of the popular support.
Here is how I handicap the race:
Right now the Grand National Party is about as strong as they have right to expect to be. In fact, their only opportunity for growth is in Jeju. WIN: Hold every blue province on the map. Jeju would be a bonus. DRAW: Hold all of the current blue provinces except either Chungcheongnam-do or Gyeonggi-do. LOSE: Lose any two of Chungcheongnam-do, Chungcheongbuk-do, Gyeonggi-do or Seoul.
Conversely the Uri Party is doing about as poorly as any party with a support base of 23% can possibly do. They have nowhere to go but up. WIN: Hold on to the yellow provinces of Jeollabuk-do and Daejeon while picking up Chungcheongnam-do, Chungcheongbuk-do, Gyeonggi-do and Jeollanam-do. DRAW: Hold on to Jeollabuk-do and Daejeon while picking up any two of Chungcheongnam-do, Chungcheongbuk-do, Gyeonggi-do or Jeollanam-do. LOSE: Hold Jeollabuk-do and Daejeon. MELTDOWN: Only win in Daejeon or Jeollabuk-do. If that happens, Uri is toast. In fact, Uri will lose at least 20 members by the end of the year with any result other than a win. On the other hand, almost all can be forgiven if Kang Kum-sil wins in Seoul.
The Democratic Party is still rebuilding from its regional base. If they do well enough, expect them to break out as Uri breaks up in 2007 and 2008. WIN: Win in Jeollanam-do, Jeollabuk-do and Gwangju. DRAW: Win in Jeollanam-do and Gwangju. LOSE: Win only in Gwangju. MELTDOWN: Lose everywhere. That would be the end of the party.
If the Democratic Labor Party wins anywhere, it would be a huge upset. They have the same level of support as the Democrats but it is spread all over the country. With a good candidate they might win in Ulsan, but I would not count on it.