Pita Favored As PM and Srettha Slips in Popularity, Poll Reveals

A recent NIDA poll revealed that election-winner Pita Limjaroenrat significantly outperformed other prime ministerial candidates, highlighting Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s waning popularity.

The NIDA poll, conducted by the National Institute of Development Administration, quarterly measures the popularity of politicians and parties, drawing on a diverse group of 2,000 voting-age participants from across all generations, careers and regions of Thailand.

The chief advisor to the Move Forward Party received 42.75% support in the latest quarterly survey, marking a slight increase from 39.40% in the previous poll.

His appeal is attributed to his energetic and direct approach, his leadership qualities, and his representation of a new generation of politicians, as the survey indicated.

Despite his electoral victory, Pita was barred from assuming the prime minister’s office by a Senate appointed by the military, outstripping Srettha by a substantial 24 percentage points.

Srettha’s support fell to 17.75% of the vote, a notable decrease from the 22.35% he secured in the previous December poll. His supporters lauded his economic expertise and experience, according to the poll.

Paetongtarn Shinawatra, the leader of the Pheu Thai Party, significantly lagged in the prime ministerial preference rankings, with her popularity holding steady at about 6%, only slightly higher than the 5.75% in the last survey.

Supporters perceive Paetongtarn, the youngest daughter of former Prime Minister Thaksin, as embodying leadership, positivity, and the essence of the new political era, according to the survey findings.

The survey also identified other potential prime ministerial candidates, including Pirapan Salirathavibhanga from the United Thai Nation Party, Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan of the Thai Sang Thai Party, Anutin Charnvirakul from the Bhumjaithai Party, and Gen Prawit Wongsuwon of the Palang Pracharath Party.

However, they received minimal support, with percentages ranging between 3.55% and 2.45%.

The Move Forward Party’s popularity increased to 48.45% from 44.05% in the last poll, in contrast to the Pheu Thai Party, which experienced a decline in support to 22.10% from 24.05% recorded in December.

Facing a legal challenge that threatens its existence, the main opposition party is under scrutiny after the Election Commission recommended its dissolution to the Constitutional Court, contending that its proposal to amend the lese majeste law was equivalent to an attempt to undermine the constitutional monarchy.

This action follows the dissolution of Move Forward’s predecessor, the Future Forward Party, by the judiciary.

Other parties mentioned for their support in the survey, though without significant backing, included the United Thai Nation, Democrat, Palang Pracharath, Bhumjaithai, and Thai Sang Thai.