Media: Opposition leads in Seoul, Busan votes

South Korean media are making projections that candidates from the largest opposition party are taking a big lead in mayoral elections in Seoul and Busan on Wednesday.

Voting stations in the country's capital and the second largest city were closed shortly after 8 p.m. local time.

The country's public broadcaster KBS disclosed projections, based on joint exit polls with other leading TV stations and a pre-election telephone survey.

They show that in Seoul, Oh Se-hoon from the largest opposition People Power Party is expected to gain 59 percent of the vote, topping Park Young-sun from the governing Democratic Party by 21.3 percentage points.

The projections also show that in Busan, the opposition candidate is taking a lead over the governing party candidate by 31 percentage points.

The election commission says that as of 8 p.m., voter turnout was 55.1 percent in Seoul and 51.3 percent in Busan.

Vote counting is expected to continue until early Thursday morning.

The mayoral results are widely seen as an important precursor to next year's presidential election.