The Move Forward Party (MFP) is trailing Pheu Thai for constituency and party-list MPs but its popularity is rising as the election looms, according to a new pre-election poll by the National Institute of Development Administration (Nida).
Nida released its third pre-election poll on Wednesday conducted from April 24-28 among 2,500 people.
Despite the party being the frontrunner in the poll, the popularity of Pheu Thai's party-list MPs dropped to 37.92% of respondents from 47% one month earlier.
Meanwhile, 35.36% voted for the MFP when it came to party-list MPs, up from 21.85%.
Echoes of this could be seen in the the survey on constituency MPs. Pheu Thai still ranked first with 38.32% but its popularity was down from 47.20%.
In second place was the MFP, with 33.96% of respondents favouring its constituency MPs, up from 21.20% last month.
Most of those surveyed (35.44%) said they would vote for Pita Limjaroenrat for prime minister while 29.20% named Pheu Thai's Paetongtarn Shinawatra and 14.84% opted for Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha of the United Thai Nation (UTN) Party.
Compared to Nida's previous poll in April, Mr Pita has gained popularity, surpassing Ms Paetongtarn who was voted No.1 last month, with 35.70% of respondents preferring her.
Mr Pita said the party's growing popularity stems from its clear and consistent stance that it will not join an "inter-bloc" coalition government led by Gen Prayut or Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, as well as its 300 policies.
"With these two factors, people must have seen our vision, determination and effort to improve their quality of life, to better the country's future," he said.
"Opinion polls do not guarantee election results. The MFP will continue to organise campaign rallies across Thailand."
Ms Paetongtarn also questioned the reliability of such polls. She urged people to look at the capabilities of each party and decide which one can improve their living conditions.
She said the Pheu Thai Party has remained firm on its stance that it will not cooperate with the UTN Party or Palang Pracharath Party.
"With the election looming, Pheu Thai has introduced its three prime ministerial candidates and I am also ready to serve as prime minister. We three are the best choices for all people."