Most Thais have no idea how Senate election works

THURSDAY, MAY 23, 2024

Research institute’s poll reveals a lack of understanding about next month’s senatorial election

About a quarter of Thais are not aware of the upcoming election for senators, which will be held from June 9 to 26, while some 70% do not know how the new election system works, according to a recent poll by King Prajadhipok's Institute.

The poll was conducted on May 7 and 18 among 1,620 respondents aged over 18 countrywide. It aimed to study Thai people’s understanding of the upcoming senatorial election, in which thousands of candidates will vote among themselves to elect 200 senators.

The institute published the results on Thursday, with key findings as follows:

76.5% of respondents said they are aware of the upcoming senatorial election, while 23.5% do not know.

When asked how the senatorial election works, only 28.5% of respondents answered correctly that applicants will vote among themselves.

21.5% believed the election will select candidates from each occupation group.

15.5% thought that the public would cast their votes for the candidates.

34.7% said they have no idea how the new voting system works.

The institute said respondents aged over 60 mostly answered correctly (about 30%), while 73.9% of those aged 18 to 25 had no idea or a wrong concept of the senatorial election.

Educational background also plays a role, as 79.3% of those with elementary education did not know how the election works, while 35.4% of those with a Bachelor’s degree or higher answered correctly.

In the upcoming election, successful candidates will vote among themselves in three levels of elections to select the new 200-member Senate. Elections at the district level will be held on June 9, at the provincial level on June 16 and at the national level on June 26.

This elected Senate will replace the 250-member Senate appointed by the junta after the 2014 military-led coup. The tenure of these senators ended on May 10 but they are playing a caretaker role until a new Senate is selected.