Moon Jae-in of the liberal Democratic Party remained the front-runner in South Korea's presidential race as his longtime rival climbed one notch to rank second, a poll showed Wednesday.
Moon, a former leader of the largest party in parliament, garnered 33 percent from Monday to Tuesday, down 0.3 percentage point from the previous week, according to pollster R&Search.
Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo of the centrist People's Party followed in second place with 16.6 percent, upsetting South Chungcheong Province Gov. An Hee-jung of the Democratic Party. Ahn climbed 5.4 percentage points, while An dropped 4.9 percentage points to place third with 12.6 percent.
"Ahn Cheol-soo rose to second place after the primary in Honam, pushing An Hee-jung to third place," R&Search said. "An's supporters, including voters aged 60 or above, showed the tendency of shifting toward Ahn."
Ahn won last weekend's primary in the liberal stronghold of Honam, or the southwestern Jeolla provinces, by a landslide. In the 2012 presidential race, Ahn competed with Moon for liberal votes but later dropped out of the race in support of Moon.
The next election is scheduled for May 9 following the ouster of Park Geun-hye over a corruption scandal.
Other contenders include Seongnam Mayor Lee Jae-myung of the Democratic Party, who came in fourth at 11.2 percent, followed by South Gyeongsang Province Gov. Hong Joon-pyo of the conservative Liberty Korea Party at 7.8 percent and Rep. Kim Jin-tae of the same party at 6.1 percent.
The survey was conducted on 1,080 adults and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.(Yonhap)