According to exit polls conducted by South Korea's three major terrestrial broadcasters KBS, MBC and SBS, the ruling Democratic Party is projected to win a landslide victory in the local elections and parliamentary by-elections held on Wednesday.
The DP is predicted to win 14 out of 17 major mayoral and gubernatorial races while the main opposition Liberty Korea Party is expected to win two. The remaining seat is expected to go to an independent.
In Seoul, incumbent Mayor Park Won-soon of the DP is expected to clinch a third-term with 55 percent of the votes, beating the LKP contender Kim Moon-soo with 21-point-two percent.
In the Gyeonggi Province gubernatorial race, the DP's Lee Jae-myung is forecast to win with 59-point-three percent of the votes while the LKP's Nam Kyung-pil gets 33-point-six percent.
In South Gyeongsang Province, the ruling DP’s Kim Kyoung-soo is predicted to beat the LKP’s Kim Tae-ho with 56-point-eight to 40-point-one percent.
In parliamentary by-elections held on the same day, the ruling DP is also expected to sweep ten seats out of 12 up for grabs with the LKP winning one seat. The two leading candidates in Jecheon and Danyang, South Chungcheong Province were competing within the margin of error.
DP candidates Choi Jae-seong in Seoul's Songpa B district and Kim Sung-hwan in Nowon C district,were leading their rivals by substantial margins, garnering 57-point-two percent and 60-point-nine percent, respectively.
However, in Gimcheon in the LKP's traditional stronghold of North Gyeongsang Province, LKP candidate Song Eon-seok was expected to win with 55-point-one percent of the votes.
In Jecheon and Danyang, Lee Hoo-sam of the DP was slightly ahead of Uhm Tae-young of the LKP by 47-point-six percent to 45-point-seven percent.
In the elections to choose the nation’s new chief education administrators, 13 out of 17 cities and provinces were tilting toward liberal candidates, including in Seoul where incumbent superintendent Cho Hee-yeon is leading Park Sun-young by 47-point-two percent to 34-point-six percent.
The contests were much tighter between the liberal and conservative contenders in Daegu, North Gyeongsang Province, Gwangju and Daejeon.
The joint exit polls were conducted from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on 170-thousand voters at 640 polling stations across the nation.
The exit polls did not reflect advance voting held last Friday and Saturday when 20-point-14 percent of voters cast their ballots early.
Winners of the elections are expected to emerge by around 10:30 p.m.
[Photo : YONHAP News]