Dems unbowed by governor poll drift
The Democrat Party will tackle the flagging popularity of its Bangkok governor election candidate Sukhumbhand Paribatra by emphasising seven core policies aimed at boosting quality of life.
- Published: 4/02/2013 at 12:00 AM
- Newspaper section: topstories
MR Sukhumbhand, who is seeking a second term as city governor, is apparently losing ground with the latest opinion poll showing he was trailing his main rival, Pongsapat Pongcharoen of the ruling Pheu Thai Party, by 10 points.
Latest results show Pol Gen Pongsapat commanding 43.1% of voter support, with Mr Sukhumbhand on 33.1%
Ong-art Khlampaiboon, director of the Democrats' governor election centre, said the next campaign leg will focus on policy platforms.
The seven pillars are: environment; health care; children's education and health; traffic and transport; safety and security; natural disasters; and preparations for the launch of the Asean Economic Community.
"All our campaign manifestos can be implemented. They are not fantasy and there are enough financial resources to make them happen."
Mr Ong-art denounced the polls showing MR Sukhumbhand lagging behind Pol Gen Pongsapat.
He said they merely gauged the popularity of the candidates and had not considered policy platforms.
"If the pollsters ask the respondents more about the policy, it will help them make a well-informed choice," he said.
Mr Ong-art said the party would work harder to assure the public that its candidate would deliver on his promises.
He said senior party members will meet to discuss campaign strategies.
Results of the latest survey by Abac Poll showed Pol Gen Pongsapat's popularity had risen.
Some 43.1% of respondents said they would vote for him, up from 41.8% in a survey taken immediately after candidacy registration and 32.1% before candidacy registration.
MR Sukhumbhand's popularity dropped to 33.1% in the new poll, down from 37.6% in the survey taken after the candidacy registration.
The poll surveyed 1,673 eligible voters in Bangkok between Jan 31 and Feb 2. About 63.4% said they would cast ballots in the March 3 election (Countdown clock here).
Interviews with respondents indicated that Bangkok residents are hoping for an improved quality of life in the city.
Several were tired of political conflicts, while some believed Pol Gen Pongsapat's policies were practical and could be easily implemented because he had the backing of the ruling party.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said Sunday the poll result boosted the confidence of Pol Gen Pongsapat and his supporters.
She said that running on the Pheu Thai ticket had not put him at a disadvantage, despite Bangkok being a traditional Democrat stronghold.
Ms Yingluck said the third week of campaigning would focus on policies.
Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said the poll results had not discouraged MR Sukhumbhand and his backers.
He said Bangkok voters are not easily persuaded by opinion polls.
Mr Abhisit pointed out that early opinion polls ahead of the 2004 city election put Democrat candidate Apirak Kosayodhin behind Pavena Hongsakul, yet he went on to defeat her.
Green Politics group coordinator Suriyasai Katasila said yesterday opinion surveys should do more than judge a popularity contest. "If polls ask more about policy, we can have quality elections. The voters will, in a way, formulate policies," he said.
Pongsapat Pongcharoen and Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra work the crowds (left) while MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra speaks alone on problems of the aged in election campaign appearances on Sunday.
About the author
- Writer: Post Reporters
- Position: Reporters