Error margins ok: Abac
Abac Poll yesterday defended its election surveys showing Democrat candidate Sukhumbhand Paribatra trailing Pheu Thai-nominated Pongsapat Pongcharoen throughout the campaigning, saying their margins of error were acceptable by international standards."Abac Poll will still conduct surveys for governor or national elections, but will keep the results confidential, except for opinion surveys on candidates' policies," said Noppadol Kannikar, chief of Assumption University's Abac Poll.
He also blamed small samples for the inaccuracies of its surveys, which all placed Pongsapat ahead of Sukhumbhand in the March 3 governor's election.
Undecided voters coupled with the heavily fought campaign in the last seven days were contributing factors to the misleading results this time, not voters fooling pollsters.
"I don't think so," he said.
With both candidates winning votes in the millions, Sukhumbhand and his Democrat Party could not stay complacent in future governor elections, because the close results would prompt both parties to compete against each other in the long run, he added.
Sing Singkhajorn, head of Bansomdej Poll under Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University, also gave the small margin of error as an excuse.
Bansomdej's pre-election poll was also conducted before noon on election day, while most voters cast their ballots after 1pm.
Most Bansomdej polls depicted Sukhumbhand as leading, but a few of them conducted nearer to election day showed the opposite.
In their opinion surveys, the five major pollsters, all associated with universities or educational institutions, had Pongsapat beating Sukhumbhand. This had led Pongsapat's critics and the Democrat Party's supporters to doubt the objectivity of these results or of the pollsters themselves.
Manij Suksomjit had resigned as chief of the university council of Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, reportedly in protest against the Dusit Poll's operation, which allegedly favoured the Pheu Thai-led government.
Sukhum Chaloeysab, chief of operations, publicly dismissed this theory, saying Manij's quitting had nothing to do with the Dusit Poll results placing Pongsapat in front of Sukhumbhand.
The three other pollsters are Abac University's Abac Poll, Bangkok University's Bangkok Poll and the National Institute of Development Administration's Nida Poll. The media, especially television stations, also conduct their own surveys, sometimes with educational institutions.