Bangkok poll tracker
Pongsapat tops capital opinion poll
Pheu Thai Party gubernatorial candidate Pol General Pongsapat Pongcharoen has significantly beaten Democrat Party candidate MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra in the latest Abac Poll on approval ratings.In the results released yesterday, Pongsapat came out on top as the favoured candidate in all the survey topics - personality, character, knowledge, qualifications, campaign tactics and policies, sincerity and having the best measures for solving traffic problems and the rising cost of living.
He beat Sukhumbhand by more than five to 10 points in each question. For example, in terms of personality, Pongsapat had 43 per cent with Sukhumbhand at 36 per cent. Independent candidate Pol General Sereepisuth Temeeyaves was third at 15.6 per cent.
Abac Poll director Noppadon Kannika said up to 80 per cent of Bangkok voters want to see dramatic change.
Before the candidate registration, the race between Pongsapat and Sukhumbhand was seen as tight but the situation has changed as the Pheu Thai candidate's approval rating has left the others further behind. Before the registration, Pongsapat's approval rating was 32 per cent and now has risen to 41 per cent. Sukhumbhand's score rose from 31 to 37 per cent.
Poll respondents believe Pongsapat stands out because of his "freshness" and his past achievements as a police officer.
Sukhumbhand is liked because he's humble. However, there's the perception that he does not have any outstanding achievements. The former governor is also dogged by bad publicity and reports of conflicts with the central government.
The poll of 1,766 respondents was conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Also yesterday, Bangkok Election Commission chairman Pol Lt-General Thaweesak Tuchinda said voters can submit a petition to have an elected governor removed if they fail to live up to their campaign promises. Such a petition would need 30,000 signatures and should be submitted to the Interior Ministry, which could then request the EC to hold a new election.
Thaweesak also addressed the problem of students not having time to vote because the March 3 election falls on the same day as the GAT-PAT examination. In a local election, the EC has no authority to set up polling places at the examination venues, nor are there provisions for absentee voting. If voters know they will not be able to cast their ballots, they must inform the EC prior to or within seven days after the election so that they do not lose their rights due to failure to vote, according to the law.