PT supporters misled by exit polls

Pheu Thai followers’ celebrations were short-lived and smiles rapidly faded as the vote count revealed the majority of the entry and exit polls were very wrong on Sunday.

Key figures of red-shirt United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) and Pheu Thai supporters had  gathered at the party's headquarters in Huay Khwang district to cheer on governor candidate Pol Gen Pongsapat Pongcharoen.

Moments after voting closed TV stations began broadcasting exit poll results, most of them claiming Pol Gen Pongsapat was ahead of his Democrat Party opponent MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra.

His supporters started cheering and anticipatory smiles beamed from the faces of Pheu Thai supporters.

Their high-spirits faded and silence fell as actual voting figures from each district started to appear, and it dawned on them their candidate was trailing depite the entry and exit polls. 

As the gap between the two candidates widened, from 20,000 to 50,000 votes and more, the silence was eventually broken. Pheu Thai followers began to angrily swear and shout every time Mr Sukhumbhand appeared on the TV screen.

One supporter yelled, “Get out!”, while another slapped the television and said, “You cheated!” 

Pheu Thai supporters and UDD leaders were no longer smiling and instead looks of grim concern  appeared on their faces as they reacted to the reports.

Around 6pm, Pol Gen Pongsapat and Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, accompanies by other key members of the party, conceded defeat and congratulated the governor to be.

Pol Gen Pongsapat said, “Whatever position I will hold in the future, I will continue to aid the people of Bangkok.”

Asked what that position may be he replied, “I will have to discuss future plans with the prime minister.”

Mrs Yingluck said, “I am ready to work seamlessly with the new Bangkok governor.”

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Writer: Nattawat Watanasuwan