Move Forward’s Pita, Pheu Thai’s Paetongtarn duel for Bangkok’s PM choice: poll

Move Forward's Pita, Pheu Thai's Paetongtarn duel for Bangkok's PM choice: poll
A campaign placard promoting the Move Forward Party, featuring its leader Pita Limjaroenrat, on Ratchada Pisek road in Bangkok's Huay Khwang district. (File photo)
A campaign placard promoting the Move Forward Party, featuring its leader Pita Limjaroenrat, on Ratchada Pisek road in Bangkok’s Huay Khwang district. (File photo)

Eligible voters in Bangkok see Pita Limjaroenrat, leader of the Move Forward Party, as best suited for the post of prime minister, with a slender lead over Paetongtarn “Ung Ing” Shinawatra of the Pheu Thai Party, an opinion poll showed on Sunday.

The survey by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll, was conducted by telephone interviews with 2,500 eligible voters aged 18 and over of various levels of education, occupations and incomes in the 50 districts of Bangkok from March 15-21.

Asked who they would support for the post of prime minister in the coming election, the answers were:

• 25.08% for Pita Limjaroenrat of the Move Forward Party
• 24.20% for Paetongtarn Shinawatra of the Pheu Thai Party
• 18.24% for Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha of the United Thai Nation Party
• 5.96% for Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan of the Thai Sang Thai Party
• 5.68% for Pol Gen Sereepisuth Temeeyaves of the Seri Ruam Thai Party
• 5.20% said nobody was suitable
• 4.84% for Korn Chatikavanij of the Chartpattanakla Party
• 2.40% for Srettha Thavisin of the Pheu Thai Party
• 2.00% for Cholnan Srikaew of the Pheu Thai Party
• 1.64% for Anutin Charnvirakul of the Bhumjaithai Party
• 1.56% for Jurin Laksanawisit of the Democrat Party
• 3.20% combined for Gen Prawit Wongsuwon (Palang Pracharath Party), Kanchana Silpa-archa (Chartthaipattana), Warong Dechgitvigrom (Thai Pakdee), Mongkolkit Suksintaranon (Thai Civilised),  Pirapan Salirathavibhaga (United Thai Nation), Wan Muhamad Nor Matha (Prachachart), Abhisit Vejjajiva (Democrat), Chadchart Sittipunt, Somkid Jatusripitak, Tewan Liptapanlop (Chartpattanakla), Chuan Leekpai (Democrat), Mingkwan Saengsuwan (Palang Pracharath), Rangsiman Rome (Move Forward), Vikrom Kromdit and Sakoltee Phattiyakul (Palang Pracharath).

Asked from which party they choice for an MP in the constituency system would come, the answers were:

• 34.92% Pheu Thai
• 27.72% Move Forward
• 14.32% United Thai Nation
• 6.76% Democrat
• 3.32% Chartpattanakla
• 2.96% Thai Sang Thai
• 2.48% Seri Ruam Thai
• 2.16% for Palang Pracharath
• 1.68% still undecided
• 1.48% Bhumjaithai
• 2.20% combined for Kla, Thai Pakdee, Chartthaipattana, Sang Anakhot Thai, Thai Civilised, Thoed Thai, Prachachart, Pheu Chart, and Thai Economics parties.

Ask which party they would vote for when choosing an MP in the party-list system of proportional representation, the answers were:

• 34.40% Pheu Thai
• 28.96% Move Forward
• 14.68% United Thai Nation
• 6.08% Democrat
• 3.48% Chartpattanakla
• 3.04% Seri Ruam Thai
• 2.60% Thai Sang Thai
• 2.08% Palang Pracharath
• 1.44% Bhumjaithai
• 1.28% still undecided
• 2.16% combined for the Kla, Chartthaipattana, Thai Pakdee, Sang Anakhot Thai, Thai Civilised, Pheu Chart, Thai Economics, Thoed Thai and Prachachart parties.

In a separate opinion survey by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, or Suan Dusit Poll, Pheu Thai was the preferred party for people nationwide, garnering almost half the vote. The opinion poll was conducted on 10,614 people from March 1-17, before the dissolution of the House of Representatives.

Asked to name their favourite party, the answers were:

• 46.16% Pheu Thai
• 15.43% Move Forward
• 11.12% Bhumjaithai
• 8.73% United Thai Nation
• 7.71% Democrat
• 7.11% Palang Pracharath
• 1.43% Thai Sang Thai
• 0.53% Chartpattanakla
• 0.41% Seri Ruam Thai
• 1.37% combined for other parties.

Pornpan Buathong, an analyst for Suan Dusit Poll, said the Pheu Thai Party retained its lead in all regions, although the Move Forward Party was preferred among people in the 18-30 age group. The analyst said Pheu Thai’s campaign strategy of winning by a landslide appeared to be bearing fruit.

Associate Professor Sorasak Mansilp, deputy dean of the school of law and politics at Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, said Pheu Thai’s dominance reflected the people’s desire to see a change of government.

The poll result also showed that the Move Forward Party was popular among voters of younger generations because its policies give emphasis to reducing social disparities, promoting competitiveness and eliminating the old power clique, he said.