Abhisit concedes Democrats are behind Puea Thai
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Abhisit concedes Democrats are behind Puea Thai

Abhisit in an interview with Reuters:

In an interview with Reuters, he dismissed Yingluck as simply a “new face” and political novice with impractical policies who would be a proxy for her brother.

“Yingluck is new on the scene. You always get a bit of a bounce … and the media always responds to a new face,” Abhisit said from his party’s headquarters. “There is always that question of whether she can be her own person.”

Alarmingly for Abhisit, she is also gaining in Bangkok, a city of 15 million people that was a bastion of support for his party. “It’s a tricky battleground,” Abhisit said of Bangkok.

But he insists the national race is still tight.

We have fallen behind slightly,” he said, listing what he saw as risks if the opposition won — “ruining the rule of law, causing instability and therefore a loss of economic opportunity”.

Then, in an interview (subscription only) with FT Abhisit also talks about the position of the Democrats in polls:

FT: The polls don’t look very good.

AV: They look OK to me. It’s a tight race and I always like to be the underdog: it makes your people work harder.

FT: But it does look unlikely that you will get a majority.

AV: I don’t accept that. It is possible. I think one of the things that is becoming a big issue is the income guarantee programme for farmers which Puea Thai says it wills scrap, I think a lot of farmers are now feeling threatened by that.

FT: What are your internal polling numbers say?

AV: We are slightly behind. Seat allocation is a little tricky in a system like this, but we are looking at two parties getting between them about 400 seats, so either side at 200.

AV: No people expect you to solve their problems, you solve one, they’ve got new ones, you’ve got to solve new ones.

FT: Do you think the polls are misleading?

AV: Some are misleading, not all of them. I think the ones that are reasonable put us maybe 3-4 per cent behind, but the ones that have 50 per cent undecided, I wouldn’t even bother reading them.

BP: Abhisit was quoted by Krungthep Turakit as few days as saying that the Democrats are about 3-4 points behind. The more recent polls have undecideds falling to the mid-30s and mid-40s respectively, but the only result is that Puea Thai is moving further ahead or has an 8 point lead on the party vote (that is from 8,000 people surveyed as well). Now, it is possible for the Democrats to pick up a majority of the undecideds, but while Abhisit may believe the Democrats are not behind by much, Korn is willing too…

h/t to a reader