The 2017 Korean Presidential Election is scheduled to be held on 9 May 2017, following the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye. Initially scheduled for 20 December 2017, the election was moved forward in the face of President Park’s impeachment.
Polling Averages and Parties
The main parties contesting the election, from roughly left to right in ideological position, are as follows:
Justice – Sim Sang-jung: A progressive left-wing party that splintered off from the former Unified Progressive Party, which was disbanded for alleged ties to North Korea.
Democratic Party – Moon Jae-in: Also known as the Minjoo Party of Korea, this party formed the primary opposition to Park Geun-hye. It takes a center-left liberal stance.
People’s – Ahn Cheol-soo: A centrist party that splintered off the Minjoo/Democratic Party.
Bareun – Yoo Seong-min: A former faction of the Saenuri party, former supporters of Park Geun-hye, taking a center-right stance
Liberty – Hong Jun-pyo: A former faction of the Saenuri party, former supporters of Park Geun-hye, taking a right wing stance
Currently, Moon Jae-in of the Democratic party holds a 19-point lead over all other candidates, holding off a surge from Ahn Cheol-soo of the People’s party. With the recent dip in the number of undecided voters, it seems as if their chances of winning have dropped to near-zero levels, and the field appears to be stabilizing. Barring any major breakthrough, it appears that the field will be locked in a position similar to this.
Our model assigns Moon Jae-in a significantly higher chance of victory than Ahn Cheol-soo and Hong Jun-pyo, due to his front-runner position. Trailing significantly behind are the four other candidates – it is anticipated that they have a near-zero chance of victory.
There is still a chance that these numbers may change. Furthermore, the election is conducted in a single round, with the candidate garnering the most votes taking the victory, meaning the probability of an upset is increased.
Despite holding a 20-point lead over his main contender, Moon Jae-in’s chance of victory is not yet 100% or 99%. There is still a slight chance that the center-right candidates might consolidate (they take up a total of 43% of the vote) and Sim Sang-jung’s good performance in debates might siphon some votes off from the left, especially if left-wing supporters take Moon’s election for granted.
Overall, Moon Jae-in is an overwhelming favorite to win the election. Whilst we wouldn’t see his chances as 100%, he’s almost unanimously our prediction.