Suranand Vejjajiva has another excellent opinion piece on the state of the Bangkok Governor’s race. It is worth reading in its entirety.
BP: The last poll BP saw from the end of December from Suan Dusit had Sukhumbhand with 40.70%, Nattakorn/Pleum 27.31%, Sam of Puea Thai with 20.15%, and Kaewsan with 4.77%.
As Suranand states, Kaewsan doesn’t have the campaign skills and well it is hard to grasp from only listening to him on what he will do. Sam’s campaign has been ineffectual – almost deliberately so towards the end as Nattakorn stands a better chance of winning? Unless their internal numbers are showing something different Puea Thai would be much better served persuading their voters to vote for Nattakorn as Sam and Nattakorn are splitting the non-Democrat vote. A defeat for the Democrats or a narrow victory is in Puea Thai’s interests – if Sukhumbhand doesn’t win you also then have the situation of him being a possiblity to takeover the Foreign Ministry which if Kasit makes some verbal blunders may cause tension between PAD and the Democrats with moves to replace Kasit. Sukhumbhand has got much better on the campaign trail in interacting with voters and given Democrat support in the city Sukhumbhand will almost certainly win, but it will be much closer than the Apirak election.
As Suranand notes, Nattakorn has come a long way since his bombastic performances on Newsnight and in Thai comes across well because of his TV background. He has been creating this image of himself as being the independent. He was on either NBT or ThaiPBS two weeks ago and they had a camera follow him around on the campaign trail and saying that he is running his campaign on the cheap – BP knows people who have seen travelling on the skytrain in his casual campaign dress with no-hangers on it tow although from what you see on TV now, he is a couple of people with him now.