Election officials count ballots at a polling station in Wat Raikhing School in Samphran district of Nakhon Pathom on Wednesday. (Photo Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
The result of the by-election in Nakhon Pathom province on Oct 23 shows the political situation is still uncertain and subject to change, according to an opinion survey by the Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, or Suan Dusit Poll.
The poll was conducted on Oct 24-26 on 1,072 people throughout the country to gauge their opinions on the result of the Nakhon Pathom by-election in which Future Forward Party candidate Pairatchote Chantharakachorn was defeated by Padermchai Sasomsap, a veteran politician of Chartthaipattana, a party in the Palang Pracharath Party-led coalition government.
The by-election was called after Jumpita Chantarakachorn, a Future Forward Party MP, resigned due to health problems. Her husband, Pairatchote, campaigned to take her place but failed in her bid.
Mr Padermchai’s election was considered a victory for the government camp.
Asked what the by-election result has indicated, a slight majority — 52.57% — said it shows the political situation is still uncertain and subect to change; 39.40% said it is the voters’ decision and must be respected; and 22.58% thought the result indicates the voters’ decision was based more on their preferences for an individual candidate than for a political party.
Asked how the government’s performance would be affected by the by-election, 44.19% said it would be largely the same as before; 36.33% thought it would perform worse as economic problems have not been solved and the allocation of the 2020 budget has not been settled; and 19.48% believed it would perform better with a majority in hand and more welfare schemes in the offing.
Asked how the opposition would fare, 54.26% of the respondents believed its performance would remain the same as before; 29.52% thought the opposition would improve its performance in order to win public acceptance; and 16.22% believed it would perform worse and face more obstacles.
Asked about the outlook for the Future Forward Party, 37.16% believed the party would adhere to its ideology and stay determined; 32.51% said the election result would cause the party to be more careful in its future moves; and 30.33% said there might be internal rifts in the party, affecting its image and public confidence.