Poll shows popularity gap between Prayut and Paethongtarn shrinks
A recent opinion poll puts Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Paethongtarn Shinawatra, a potential prime minister candidate of opposition Pheu Thai Party, on top of the list of prime minister preferences in the upcoming general election but their popularity gap has shrunk.
The Super Poll, a private polling and research agency, said the opinion poll was conducted hot on the heels of the two-day House debate by the opposition bloc against the Prayut government last week.
It said 1,571 people across the country were asked for their assessment of the performance of Prime Minister Prayut and opposition MPs in the House debate and their preferences for the next prime minister.
The poll found that 28.5 per cent of the respondents are in favour of Paethongtarn compared to 25.7 per cent for Prayut. Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul of Bhumjaithai Party, comes third with 21.2 per cent while Pita Limjaroenrat of Move Forward Party is distant fourth at 14.4 per cent. Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanavisit of the Democrat Party and Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan of Palang Pracharath Party receive 3.8 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively.
Super Poll noted that the popularity gap between Prayut and Paethongtarn has become significantly smaller compared to previous polls. “It was probably the result of the House debate,” it said, noting that as many as 55.6 per cent of the respondents believe Prayut performed well in rebutting opposition MPs’ charges.
Most opinion polls in recent weeks have put Paethongtarn ahead of Prayut who is the presumptive prime minister candidate of United Thai Nation Party which he recently joined.