Political divide not huge: Poll


Voters are not that politically divided, so the red-versus-yellow conflict will have little bearing on the general election, according to a survey by the Asia Foundation.

Only 12 per cent identified themselves as red or yellow shirts, while 12 per cent were "slightly" leaning towards one camp or the other, the results of the "2010 National Survey of the Thai Electorate: Exploring National Consensus and Colour Polarisation" showed yesterday.

The remaining 76 per cent were not attracted to either colour.

Like the previous year, 93 per cent of the respondents in the 2010 survey agreed that democracy was the best form of government. On the issue of polit?ical intolerance, only 7 per cent said they ended friendships because of their yellow or red affiliation.

The biggest problem in their local area was the economy, answered 37 per cent, followed by drugs at 18 per cent, the environment at 4 per cent, corrup?tion at 3 per cent and political conflicts at only 2 per cent.

The survey found a diversity of opinions within the red- and yellow-shirt ranks. The two movements have more in common than differences.

The survey of 1,500 respondents was conducted from September-October last year.

"Overall, the mood of the nation was slightly less pessimistic than it was in 2009. The survey reveals that 54 per cent of Thai citizens in 2010 believed the country was moving in the wrong direction, down slightly from 58 per cent in 2009," the poll said.

"While 60 per cent of respondents had cited the poor economy as the biggest problem facing Thailand in 2009, this perception decreased significantly to only 35 per cent in 2010."

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