Momentum shifts to Move Forward, Pita now top choice for PM: Poll
Momentum is shifting to the Move Forward Party and its charismatic leader Pita Limjaroenrat as the election nears and it is drawing support away from the Pheu Thai Party, according to the results of a poll released on Wednesday.
Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat surpassed Pheu Thai rival Paetongtarn Shinawatra as the top choice for PM in the third and final nationwide poll conducted by the National Institute of Development Administration (Nida) before the May 14 election.
Pita took a more than six percentage point lead over Paetongtarn in the survey conducted from April 24 to 28.
He was the top choice of 35.44% of the 2,500 eligible voters surveyed nationwide.
Paetongtarn, who had held a commanding lead, slipped to 29.20% support.
Incumbent Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha – running as the prime ministerial candidate for the United Thai Nation Party (UTNP) – was a distant third, with 14.84% of respondents selecting him as their top choice.
Although the popularity of the Pheu Thai Party is declining, it still remains the top choice, the survey found.
Pheu Thai was the top choice for constituency elections, with 38.32% support. This, however, represents a drop of 8.88 percentage point drop from the second Nida poll and an 11.4 percentage point plunge from the first one.
Move Forward is narrowing the gap.
Its support rose by 12.76 percentage points from the last Nida poll to 33.96% for constituency elections. Prayut’s party saw its support rise 1.28 percentage points to 10.80%.
Prayut’s UTNP retained the third rank in the survey for support in constituency and party-list elections.
The first Nida Poll for the upcoming election was conducted on March 19, one day before Prime Minister Prayut dissolved the House of Representatives. The second survey was carried out from April 3 to 7.
When asked who they support for the next PM, the top 10 responses were:
• 35.44%: Pita
• 29.20%: Paetongtarn
• 14.84%: Prayut
• 6.76%: Srettha Thavisin, Pheu Thai’s second PM candidate
• 3%: Undecided
• 2.48%: Sudarat Keyuraphan, Thai Sang Thai Party leader
• 1.80%: Jurin Laksanawisit, Democrat Party leader
• 1.68%: Sereepisuth Temeeyaves, Seree Ruam Thai Party leader
• 1.36%: Anutin Charnvirakul, Bhumjaithai Party leader
• 1.32%: Korn Chatikavanij, Chart Pattana Kla Party leader
The five most popular parties for constituency elections are:
• 38.32%: Pheu Thai
• 33.96%: Move Forward
• 12.08%: United Thai Nation
• 4.28%: Democrat
• 2.92%: Bhumjaithai
The five most popular parties for party-list MPs are:
• 37.92%: Pheu Thai
• 35.36%: Move Forward
• 12.84%: United Thai Nation
• 3.32%: Democrat
• 2.36%: Bhumjaithai
Due to the rising popularity of Move Forward, Pheu Thai is urging its supporters to remain loyal to prevent Prayut or General Prawit Wongsuwan, Palang Pracharath Party leader, from regaining power. It is urging voters to help it sweep 350 House seats so that it can form the next government.