After one of South Korea's most tumultuous political periods in recent memory, voters appear ready for change.

The nation of 52 million people heads to the polls Tuesday in an election triggered by the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye, who has been detained on corruption charges. Moon Jae-in, the left-leaning front-runner, has promised to rein in conglomerates that dominate the economy, create jobs for disaffected youth and seek talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"Like elsewhere in the world, particularly in France, voters are fed up with the establishment and wanting a new political order," said Rhee Jong-hoon, a research fellow at Myongji University in Seoul who writes about South Korean politics. "The confusion we have now is the pain of a society trying to move on to a developed nation from a developing one."