Pongsapat widens lead against Sukhumbhand: ABAC Poll

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BANGKOK, Feb 19 – A university survey said ruling Pheu Thai Party candidate Pongsapat Pongcharoen widened his lead over his rival Sukhumbhand Paribatra from the Democrat Party in the upcoming gubernatorial race, and more Bangkokians are expected to cast their ballots than in last election.

Assumption University’s ABAC poll asked 2,498 people between Feb 15-18, finding that 59.7 per cent of eligible voters are likely to vote March 3, up nearly 10 per cent from the 50.6 per cent registered in the last survey.

The popularity of former deputy national police chief Pongsapat has risen from 43.9 to 46.6, while the former Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand’s popularity has fallen dramatically from 37.6 per cent to 29.9 in the latest survey.

The popularity of Pol Gen Seripisut Temiyavet remained unchanged at around 10 per cent.

According to the survey, Mr Pongsapat holds a distinct 16.7 point lead over Mr Sukhumbhand, following the Democrat Party’s campaign on Red Shirt movement violence, but the public seems to prefer a peaceful atmosphere. Survey analysts said also that the public was disappointed with the Democrat candidate’s personality during the campaign.

However, the poll found that more highly educated voters, higher than the Bachelor’s degree, still prefer Mr Sukhumbhand to Mr Pongsapat by 25:14 while those with lower than the Bachelor’s degree said they will vote for the Pheu Thai candidate by almost double, a margin of 49:27.