Over the past decade, Bangkok's governor race has provided telling implications for national politics. The winner, in that time, has come from the opposition party in national politics. In other words, the largest national winning party lost in Bangkok consecutively in 2004, 2008 and 2009. This time, ahead of the March 3 poll, the Bangkok governor race is yielding counterintuitive poll numbers that may portend a pattern for the next national election due by 2015.
Three leading candidates pose for a photo together at the City Hall before beginning their race for city governor. From left to right,MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra, PolGen Sereepisuth Temeeyaves, andPol GenPongsapat Pongcharoen. APICHART JINAKUL
The previous governor, MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra of the Democrat Party, is polling behind Pol Gen Pongsapat Pongcharoen. The polling margin in favour of Mr Pongsapat is surprising. In 2004, the Democrats pulled ahead of its archrival in Bangkok by a comfortable margin of 38 to 26% at a time when former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and his Thai Rak Thai Party machine were still in power. Bangkok's support for the Democrats was solid in the face of Thai Rak Thai's thumping national election victory in February 2005 where it garnered 32 out of 37 MP seats in the capital.
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