6 June 2024

Move Forward party leader Pita Limjaroenrat emerged as the favourite candidate for Thailand’s next prime minister in the latest opinion poll, conducted by the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA).

NIDA randomly sampled the opinions of 2,500 people, aged 18 and over in various occupations, levels of education and income between April 24th and 28th.

According to the poll, 35.44% of the respondents prefer Pita as the next prime minister, followed by 29.20% for Paetongtarn Shinawatra of the Pheu Thai party, 14.84% for General Prayut Chan-o-cha of the United Thai Nation party, 6.76% for Pheu Thai party’s Srettha Thavisin, 2.48% for Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan of the Thai Sang Thai party, 1.80% for Democrat party leader Jurin Laksanawisit, 1.68% for Thai Liberal party leader Sereepisuth Temeeyaves, 1.36% for Bhumjaithai party leader Anutin Charnvirakul and 1.32% for Chart Pattana Kla party Korn Chatikavanij. 3% of those polled remain undecided.

Constituency MPs of the Pheu Thai party are the most favoured candidates, with 38.32% of the respondents supporting them, followed by 33.96% for Move Forward candidates, 12.08% for United Thai Nation candidates, 4.28% for Democrat candidates, 2.92% for Bhumjaithai candidates, 1.60% for Thai Sang Thai candidates, 1.56% for Palang Pracharath candidates, 1.24% for Thai Liberal candidates and 1% for Chart Pattana Kla candidates. 1.68% of those polled remain undecided.

For party-list candidates, Pheu Thai party ranks top, with 37.92% of the respondents vouching for the party, followed by 35.36% for the Move Forward party, 12.84% for the United Thai Nation party, 3.32% for the Democrat party, 2.36% for the Bhumjaithai party, 1.60% for the Thai Liberal party, 1.28% for the Palang Pracharath party and 1% for Chart Pattana Kla party. 1.24% of those polled remain undecided.

Political observers say that the increased popularity of Move Forward party leader Pita may be due to a swing of votes, among Gen Z aged from 18 to 22, numbering about 6.6 million people, to the party.

If Pita can maintain the momentum among the Gen Z voters until election day, it could be possible for the Move Forward party to win more than 100 House and party-list seats, especially those in Bangkok, according to some observers.

A good indicator is that a large number of young people showed up at the campaign rallies, led by Pita, at Samyan Mitrtown in Bangkok and Phuket.