Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva stated to Reuters yesterday that the “election should be on the third of July” and this will be confirmed in the next few days as it is expected by Tuesday, May 10 that Abhisit will dissolve parliament. Hence, as we move into the election period polls become even more relevant.
There is a new poll conducted by the Esan Centre for Business and Economic Research at Khon Kaen University (“E-san poll”) that surveyed 2,354 people in all 20 provinces of the Northeast (Amnat Charoen, Bueng Kan, Buriram, Chaiyaphum, Kalasin, Khon Kaen, Loei, Maha Sarakham, Mukdahan, Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nongbua Lamphu, Nong Khai, Roi Et, Sakon Nakhon, Sisaket, Surin, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Yasothon) from April 28 to May 3.
Grade 6 (เรียนหนังสือ/ประถมศึกษา), 27.2%
Grade 9 (มัธยมศึกษาตอนต้น), 14%
Grade 12/vocational certificate (มัธยมศึกษาตอนปลาย/ปวช), 27.4%
Associate degree/higher vocational certificate (อนุปริญญา/ปวส), 7.6
Bachelor’s degree, 21.9%
Master’s degree, 1.7%
37.8% are traders/self-employed,
21.4% are contractors/general labour,
11.6% are farmers,
9.0% are students,
8.2% are civil servants/state enterprise employees,
8.0% work for private enterprises,
2.8% are housewives/househusbands,
BP: Farmers seem a little low, but then again traders/self-employed and contractors/general labour may include those who work in the farming area and it is how people have defined themselves. People don’t always do the same thing and move between occupations. However, also see income levels below.
btw, anyone have census figures which can be immediately compared?
Less than 5,000, 33.1%
BP: These incomes seem a little high, or more accurately those who earn less than 5,000 seems a little too low, but only by a few percentage points.
BP doesn’t have a point of reference with the last election or a by-election to see how accurate E-san polls are so can’t offer a comment as the accuracy or whether to discount a few percentage points – polls favour the Democrats when compared with results.
NOTE: Cannot find the wording of the questions as the information is expressed in the way of the answers so the below questions are BP’s way of forming a header. The title of the poll is for the “For the wew election, who will the people of the Northeast vote for?” (“เลือกตั้งครั้งใหม่ชาวอีสานจะเลือกใคร”)
Q1. Have you decided who you will vote for?
-Yes, have a political party in mind to vote for (มีพรรคการเมืองที่เลือกไว้ในใจแล้ว) 58.9%
-Undecided on which party to vote for (ส่วนผู้ที่ยังไม่ได้ตัดสินว่าจะเลือกพรรคการเมืองใด) 33.3%
-Decided note to vote (ไม่ประสงค์จะออกเสียงเลือกตั้ง) 7.7
Q2. Which party will you vote for?
-Puea Thai, 63.9%,
-Bhum Jai Thai, 9.1%,
-Chart Pattana Puea Paendin, 5.3%,
-New Aspiration party .7%,
-Matichima Thipatai, .3%
BP: This does provide a contrast with a an ABAC Poll conducted between March 25-April 2, 2011 – BP blogged about that poll here – for which parties people would vote for if there an election held today. That ABAC poll surveyed 17 provinces nationwide, but also included a breakdown of who voters in the Northeast would vote for. That ABAC poll found that 33.2% of those surveyed in the Northeast would vote for Puea Thai, 20.8% other parties, 16.6% Democrats, and 29.4% were undecided and looking for better political party.
Below are some points/comments about both polls and the E-san poll generally.
First, Please note a key difference between this poll and the E-san poll is that in the E-san poll the undecideds and those who will not vote are taken out/not included whereas for the ABAC poll the undecideds are included when you add them up to reach 100% so it is difficult to compare 33.2% for Puea Thai in the ABAC poll wich 63.9% in the E-san poll. Actually, for the ABAC poll, you need to add around 30% (i.e multiply by 1.3) to the vote totals of Puea Thai, Democrats and others’ totals to get an approximate figure to that of the E-san poll.
Second, the ABAC poll was only for 6 provinces in the Northeast (Buriram, Chaiyaphum, Kalasin, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, and Nongbua Lamphu) whereas the E-san poll was for all 20 provinces in the Northeast. BP has long wondered whether this selective choice of provinces by ABAC is representative of the whole of the Northeast (or another region) and in the next post on the E-san poll you will see how diverse the views of individual provinces of Buriram, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani are (yes, the E-san poll has individual breakdowns (ala cross-tabs) for these 5 provinces.
As a preview you will see that based on the E-san poll numbers there are great differences between the Puea Thai support in those provinces surveyed by ABAC, namely Buriram (36.4%), Nakhon Ratchasima (41.3%), and to a much lesser extent Khon Kaen (65.1%) to those that were not surveyed by ABAC, namely Ubon Ratchathani (71.2%) and Udon Thani (84.6%). BP believes this skews the ABAC poll (see point three below though too) and when the polls breakdown by regions one should not view them as representative of different regions, but just the provinces that are surveyed. The ABAC polls though can roughly reflect views nationwide as the polls choose a representative selectionof provinces in each region. For example, 6 of the 20 provinces in that ABAC poll were from the Northeast which reflects that the Northeast’s population is about one-third of Thailand’s population.
Third, aside from the differences between the polls, another reason for the drop in the Democrats support from the ABAC poll to the E-san polls is the Democrats have dropped in support nationwide. There is a new ABAC poll released yesterday (Matichon article on poll see here) – so haven’t seen the exact wording, but will blog later today or tomorrow – but the Democrats have dropped nationwide from 39% to 34% whereas Puea Thai have stayed at 36%. Then again, the new ABAC poll surveys different provinces from previous polls so it is hard to know how much of a drop.
Fourth, if the E-san poll is accurate, one can see why Mingkwan did not leave Puea Thai and form a new party. Thaksin sent emissaries including his sister to speak to Mingkwan, but in addition, MPs in the Northeast wouldn’t leave the Puea Thai because it would be the end of their political career. See Thai Rath‘s political analysis of April 30 which states some Puea Thai MPs who were close to Mingkwan wouldn’t leave Puea Thai for essentially political reasons. One Puea Thai MP from the Northeast denied he would leave the party saying that someone who left Puea Thai would be viewed as akin to a leper on the side of the road and they would lose the election (ใครออกจากพรรคเพื่อไทยก็สอบตก ไม่ต่างจากพวกขี้เรื้อนข้างถนน). Not every province in the Northeast is the same and Bhum Jai Thai and the other smaller parties who significant pockets of supports in a few provinces, but going to a new party is difficult.
btw, today and tomorrow are poll blogging days. Basically, want to set out all the data, some other information, and then add BP’s own views for the election.