BANGKOK, Apr 30 (Bloomberg): Thailand’s main opposition party, Pheu Thai, is in prime position ahead of the country’s hotly contested May 14 general election, with the latest poll showing it has a significant lead over its political rivals.
Pheu Thai, which has a long-standing affiliation with former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, won the backing of 41.37% of roughly 162,000 eligible voters surveyed, according to the Suan Dusit Poll released Saturday. The nationwide poll was conducted between April 10 and 20.
The Move Forward Party, which proposes some of the most reform-minded progressive policies, is second with 19.32% support.
The United Thai Nation Party of incumbent premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha received 8.48%, while the Palang Pracharath Party led by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, saw 7.49% support.
The election is shaping up to be a battle between the pro-establishment groups of the ruling military-backed coalition and a pro-democracy camp of opposition parties.
The major parties are all promising a similar package of cash handouts, higher minimum wages and the suspension of debt repayments to woo about 52 million voters.
In another survey by Thai language newspapers Matichon and Daily News released Saturday, the Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat was the top choice for premier with 49.17% support.
He was followed by two candidates from Pheu Thai. Thaksin’s youngest daughter, Paetongtarn Shinawatra, with 19.59% backing, and Srettha Thavisin with 15.54%. The poll was conducted virtually and results were based on some 78,000 respondents between April 22 and 28.
The popularity of Prayut and Prawit, both of whom are retired generals, continues to trail behind the prime ministerial candidates from the opposition camp.
The incumbent premier received 6.52% support, while the Palang Pracharath Party leader was picked by just 2.35% of respondents. - Bloomberg