SEOUL, March 31 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's presidential frontrunner of the main opposition Minjoo Party kept top spot in recent opinion polls ahead of an early presidential election slated for May 9.
According to a Gallup Korea survey released on Friday, Moon Jae-in, former head of the biggest opposition party, garnered 31 percent of public support this week, unchanged from the previous week.
The result was based on a poll of 1,010 voters conducted between Tuesday and Thursday. It has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.
Moon was trailed by Ahn Cheol-soo, former head of the minor opposition People's Party, which splintered away from the Minjoo Party about a year earlier.
Ahn, software-tycoon-turned-politician, gained 19 percent in approval scores this week, up 9 percentage points from a week ago.
The sharp gain was attributed to his landslide victory in the party's recent primaries, which boosted hopes for him as an alternative especially to conservative politicians.
Support for the conservative camp tumbled with the downfall of former President Park Geun-hye who was taken into custody early Friday for multiple charges including bribery, abuse of power and disclosure of confidential documents.
South Chungcheong province governor Ahn Hee-jung of the Minjoo Party saw his support scores retreat from 17 percent to 14 percent, ranking third in the opinion poll.
Seongnam mayor Lee Jae-myung of the Minjoo Party came next with an approval rating of 8 percent, followed by Hong Joon-pyo of the Liberty Korea Party who gained 4 percent in support scores.