It is the week we have all been waiting for!
Koreans vote for their legislature on April 15. Early voting already took place on April 10-11.
Yonhap predicts the Democrats will win 147 seats of the 300 in the National Assembly. That would give the Minjoo Dang a clear plurality, which would mean control of the Assembly with the help of a few Justice Party members, Minsaeng members, and independents. Yonhap has the Democrats winning 130 seats in constituencies and 17 in proportional voting, compared to 125 total seats (110 and 15) projected for the United Future Party (UFP).
My friend and KoreanElectionBlog.com analyst Jong Eun Lee thinks the Democrats will win 152 seats versus 128 for the UFP. His calculation has the Democrats winning 137 seats in constituencies and 15 in proportional.
I am even more bullish on the Democrats. I am predicting the Democrats win 145 constituency seats and 15 proportional seats for a total of… …160. The UFP should remain approximately stable. I would predict 120 for the UFP.
The big losses will come from minor parties. As it was written here, the Democrats are in the lead in almost all of the Jeolla area districts won by People’s Party candidates in 2016. The Democrats are even threatening to defeat Justice Party leader Sim Sang-jung in her district.
North Jeolla, South Jeolla, and Gwangju account for a total of 28 seats. In 2016, the Democrats only won 3 of them. In the 2018 by-elections, the Democrats added 1 seat in Gwangju. If the Democrats win 90% of the seats in Honam (Jeolla region), that would be 25 seats, an increase of 21. I think that is very likely.
I think the Democratic Party is well-positioned to hold onto most of its existing seats and have little to no net loss of seats in the rest of the country outside of Honam. The Democrats are leading big in national polls and leading in polls of most of the battleground districts they currently hold.