A recent opinion survey by Super Poll revealed that the majority of people prefer their prime ministerial candidate to be a man in his early 50s with experience as an executive in both the private and public sectors.
The poll, conducted on 1,054 people from February 10 to 16, showed that more than a quarter of the respondents, or 25.6 per cent, described their preferred PM candidate in those terms, adding that the candidate could have helped pushed the country through the previous economic crisis while keeping a low profile.
About 22.8 per cent of respondents said they prefer as PM a man who is about 40 years old, with a background as a political activist as well as an executive of a private company.
The third most-preferred choice – by nearly 14 per cent – is a man in his 60s with a background in the Army and politics.
The descriptions may fit Anutin Charnvirakul, nominated for PM by Bhumjaithai, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit by Future Forward, and General Prayut Chan-o-cha by Phalang Pracharat.
The same poll also revealed that nearly three-quarters of the people, or 72.4 per cent, said they would definitely turn up to exercise their voting rights. The rest, 27.6 per cent, said they were not sure if they would vote.
The majority (72.5) said they were concerned about political turmoil during the run-up to the election. More than a half – 56.2 per cent – said they followed the news regularly. About one-third or 36.6 per cent, said they hardly did so while 7.2 per cent said they completely ignored political developments.
Another survey by Suan Dusit Poll, conducted on 1,186 people from February 12 to 16, revealed that the majority of people (54.68 per cent) ranked the March-24 election as the number one political news they were interested in.
They reasoned that it was because the voting day was fast approaching and also because it was a hot issue that would have a great impact on the direction of politics in the country.
The second news that the respondents said they were paying attention to were the legal actions by the courts involving politics, including the Constitutional Court. More than 30 per cent said they were interested in the party-dissolution case as well as the case against protest leaders and the recent order to shut down the controversial news station, Voice TV.
The third most-followed news stories were about the prime ministerial candidates. Some 21.04 per cent said this was a crucial position in politics. They wanted to know who would become the PM and would like to hear his or her vision and policy proposals in televised debates.
The last two stories voters were interested in were about new candidates and political parties (19.87 per cent) and the electoral campaigns (15.29 per cent).
The majority of the poll respondents (39.49 per cent) also expressed concern over poll fraud. And 31.98 per cent said they were worried about another coup.
Some 35.44 per cent said they would try to find out more information about the proposed policies and candidates before going to vote.
Nearly a quarter, 24.56 per cent, said the news stories would have no influence on their decision. They had already made up their minds on which party they would vote for.