Many Thai Voters Still Undecided: Polls

Pheu Thai PM candidate Sudarat Keyuraphan is greeted by supporters at a Feb. 15 rally at Bangkok's City Hall.
Pheu Thai PM candidate Sudarat Keyuraphan is greeted by supporters at a Feb. 15 rally at Bangkok's City Hall.

BANGKOK — Many Thais remain unsure of who they’ll vote for come March 24, while most of those who’ve made up their minds favor Pheu Thai, according to polling agencies.

The most recent batch of polls found about half of all voters remained “uncertain” about which party they would vote for. Of those who’ve made up their minds, longtime electoral powerhouse Pheu Thai Party enjoyed the most support, while that enjoyed by the pro-junta Phalang Pracharat Party was uneven.

Thai polling organizations fall short of the profession’s rigorous transparency standards and do not adequately disclose their methods. Some have been accused of political manipulation in the past. Still, they provide a snapshot of public sentiment.

Bangkok University’s most recent Bangkok Poll found 51.7 percent of surveyed voters were “undecided,” with 11.7 percent saying they would vote for the Pheu Thai Party. The Democrat Party was close behind at 10.6 percent while the pro-junta Phalang Pracharat Party was favored by 10.2 percent. The Future Forward Party came in fourth with the support of 9.8 percent of those surveyed. The poll was conducted over three days late last month and surveyed 1,506 voters by telephone. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.

The National Institute of Development Administration, or NIDA, conducted a poll of 1,254 first-time voters last month. It found 44.6 percent “uncertain” about which party to vote for. Pheu Thai was favored by 18.74 percent of respondents, followed by Future Forward and Democrat with 13.86 and 10.73 percent respectively. The same poll found low support for Phalang Pracharat among young voters: 2.70 percent. NIDA does not disclose its margin of error.

Read: Thai Election for Dummies: Guide to the Parties

Far fewer voters have yet to make their minds up in Thailand’s northeast, according to a Khon Kaen University E-Saan Poll conducted Feb. 9-10 in 20 northeastern provinces. It found only 9.1 percent of of its 1,108 respondents still undecided or unable to name who they would vote for. Pheu Thai was the choice for 44.8 percent of those surveyed, followed by Future Forward (21.2 percent) and Thai Raksa Chart (7.5 percent). Phalang Pracharat had the support of 7.4 percent of survey respondents; Bhumjaithai Party had 6.1 percent. The poll doesn’t identify a margin of error but says it is “99 percent reliable.”