Survey says Lee is not faring well in his first year

Posted on : 2009-02-23 12:19 KST Modified on : 2009-02-23 12:19 KST
A majority would not vote for Lee again if given the choice today and 46 pct say the best thing he has done in his first year is ‘nothing’
 57.9 percent said they would not vote for Lee again
57.9 percent said they would not vote for Lee again

One third of all Korean voters who chose Lee Myung-bak in the last presidential election would not vote for him again if the election were held today.

In an opinion survey performed Saturday by Research Plus at the request of The Hankyoreh on the occasion of the first anniversary of Lee’s inauguration, 57.9 percent of respondents said they would not vote for Lee if the election were held today, far more than the 28.9 percent who said they would.

Of those who indicated they had voted for Lee in the presidential election held December 2007, only 48.7 percent said they would vote for him again. 33.4 percent said they would not vote for him again, while 17.9 percent of those who said they voted for him in 2007 did not answer the question.

Lee is constitutionally limited to a single five-year term.

A whopping 57.6 percent of respondents said Lee is performing poorly as president, and only 34.1 percent approve of how he is running the government. Regarding the appointments Lee has made in his first year in office, 57.8 percent disapprove of his appointees, far more than the 29.7 percent who think he is making the right choices.

Those surveyed were allowed to fill in the blank when it came to giving an answer about the best thing Lee has done in his first year, but 46 percent said “nothing” and 36.3 percent did not respond at all. Of the 17.7 percent who did respond, 6.4 percent said he has done well with the economy, 3.9 percent said he has “run the government well,” and 2 percent said he has done well in the area of North Korea policy.

In a similar question about the worst things Lee has done as president, 24 percent gave answers that relate to economic matters, such as a “lack of effort in restoring the economy,” unemployment and price stabilization. “Not trying hard enough to listen to the Korean public” was the answer of 11.6 percent of respondents while another 6.1 percent said he ignores policies that would help the “common people” (seomin).

Respondents were also asked about standing polices and issues and how they think they have fared in the first year of Lee’s year in office, as compared with government operations in the year before he was inaugurated. Of those surveyed, 66.9 percent said inter-Korean relations have worsened, 23.1 percent say they remain the same, and 5.2 percent said they have improved. Regarding irregular workers, 53.3 percent said conditions for irregular workers have worsened, 28.7 percent said they remain the same, and 5.7 percent said they have improved. Regarding education, 50.2 percent said the “burden of extracurricular tutoring” has increased, 30.7 percent said it remains the same, and 7.3 percent said it has decreased. Regarding discord between members of Korean society, 60.5 percent said there has been an increase in social discord, 25.5 percent said nothing has changed, and 9.7 percent said there is less social discord.

There was no major difference of opinion on the subject of social welfare benefits for the poor, with 29.2 percent saying there has been improvement, 33.9 percent saying the level of benefits remains about the same, and 29.5 percent saying it has deteriorated.

One thousand Koreans over the age of 19 participated in the telephone survey, which had a margin of error of ±3.1 percent of a 95 percent confidence level. Survey results can be seen in their entirety, in Korean, at www.hani.co.kr.

Please direct questions or comments to [englishhani@hani.co.kr]