Nida Poll on approval ratings for Yingluck vs Abhisit
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Nida Poll on approval ratings for Yingluck vs Abhisit

In a follow up or as a companion post to the post last week about a Suan Dusit poll in December, there is a NIDA Poll which surveyed 1,379 people nationwide from December 23-25. The title of the poll is “Satisfaction with the government and the Prime Minister, 1st poll, December 2011” (“ความพึงพอใจต่อผลงานรัฐบาลและนายกรัฐมนตรี ครั้งที่ 1 เดือน ธันวาคม 2554”). NIDA notes that they will do this poll every quarter to enable people to follow the performance of the government on various aspects and to reflect the views of the people (โดยจะทำการสำรวจเป็นรายไตรมาสและมีการเปรียบเทียบในแต่ละไตรมาส เพื่อติดตามผลการทำงานของรัฐบาลในด้านต่างๆ และสะท้อนความคิดเห็นของประชาชน).  Unlike some polls, NIDA now provide full access to survey data methodology so BP has included this at the end of this post (as noted below they have gone for equal geographic distribution by region which doesn’t reflect population).*

For comparison purposes, BP tried to find previous NIDA polls to get some context about what the scores mean (i.e is 6.5 out of 10 a phenomenally good score or well just average). It is best to compare polls from the same organization and when the same questions are asked. BP has found NIDA polls on the performance of former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his government from August 2009-May 2010 and have included those (yes, it would have been better to have included a more diverse time period like BP did with the Suan Dusit polls, but simply couldn’t find any such polls)

Q1: Points for performance of the Yingluck government (คะแนนผลงานโดยรวมของรัฐบาลนางสาวยิ่งลักษณ์  ชินวัตร).


Source: Aug 09-May 10 (DOC); December 2011 (HTML and PDF). The above scores/ratings are out of 10.

1.1. To explain the weighted and population fields, BP looked at the Dec 2011 figures and noticed – it is more apparent for Yingluck in 2 – that the Bangkok and South figures seemed to be weighing the “Total” rating for December 11 down excessively. This is because while the poll surveyed 1,379 people nationwide, but it did so equally by region regardless of the population of that region which resulted in the number of people being surveyed as follows: Bangkok 277, Central 277, North 277, Northeast 272, and South 276.

Mahidol University has a population gazette – last updated January 2011 – which provides the population of each region and so the “Pop” field in BP’s chart above is the percentage of Thailand’s total population which is in that region. For the “Weighted” field, the key figure is the total of 6.55 which is the adjusted figure that comes out when you weigh the December 11 figures by the percentage of the population of each region. This “Total” seems a more reflective nationwide figure than 6.24 which you get when you add the Dec 11 figures together and divide by 5 with no adjustment made for population.** BP hasn’t adjusted the Democrat figures downwards as BP found no mention in the NIDA source of the geographical breakdown for the previous polls – from BP’s experience with NIDA polls and looking at the survey data from the elections, they were very accurate with their geographical breakdown (see here and here) – so it would be unfair to adjust the Democrat government ratings (they would likely go down slightly given the Democrats do better in the South which has a smaller population than the Northeast).

Note: The individual region figures for December 11 are still accurate. It is only the 6.24 Total figure which doesn’t reflect a nationwide total.

1.2 The most recent Suan Dusit poll on the 4 months performance of Yingluck had a specific question on the performance of the government and a breakdown by region which BP has below (NIDA figures in brackets):

A. North. 7.29 (6.53)

B. Northeast, 6.81 (7.47)

C. Bangkok, 5.65 (6.02)

D. Central, 5.6 (6.61)

E. South, 5.44 (4.61)

BP:  The NIDA Poll, aside from being a different polling company is slightly different, it is just a general rating now whereas the Suan Dusit poll was a rating of the 4 months. It is not surprising that the government does the best in the Northeast although BP was slightly surprised that the government did better in the Central region than in the North (contrast with the Suan Dusit poll). The Yingluck government scored better than the Abhisit government in all regions except the South.

2. Satisfaction that the people have towards the Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (ความพึงพอใจของประชาชนต่อตัวนายกรัฐมนตรี “นางสาวยิ่งลักษณ์ ชินวัตร”).


Note: Ratings are not out of 10, it is simply satisfied/not satisfied (approval rating).

2.1 Again, BP has adjusted/weighed the total figures. See explanation in 1.1 above. Again, the key total figure is now 63.16 satisfaction (approval). You will also see how well Abhisit compared with this government and Yingluck doesn’t do as well, and actually scores lower than the government – for Suan Dust she still scores above though. See BP’s comments in the Suan Dusit Poll which BP has excerpted below:

To reiterate an old point, Abhisit was really the jewel in the Democrat crown continually outperforming the Cabinet  (by .43, .42, and .61 respectively). See posts about Abhisit being the jewel in the Democrat crown here and here in December 2011. Yingluck outscores the Cabinet although at only about half the rate that Abhisit did (.28). The Yingluck Cabinet rating performs better than Abhisit’s Cabinet so part of the reason is the overall public perception of the Abhisit Cabinet’s performance was not as high compared with that of the Yingluck Cabinet although this doesn’t mean that Abhisit wasn’t the jewel in the Democrat crown as his ratings are significantly higher than either the performance of his Cabinet or other ratings given to his government as well as score being at least 6.33 which is quite high. However, Abhisit’s shine started to wear off – see posts in March 2011 here and here on that – which is shown by the polls on his performance mentioned in 1.1

BP: We can’t see whether Abhisit’s shine started to wear off in 2011 as the NIDA Polls only go up until May 2010, but before May 2010 he scored very well in all parts of the country. It is interesting to see how his figures change between March 2010 and May 2010 which covers the red shirt protests. From March 2010 – May 2010, he did much better in Bangkok, stayed the same in Central and the North, but did worse in the Northeast and the Central Region (because of its geographical proximity many red shirt protesters who came to Bangkok were from the Central Region).

As long as Yingluck is above 50%, things are still going ok.

2.2 It is interesting to see how Yingluck does compared with her government, but BP should note that there is a difference between ratings out of 10 and satisfaction/approval. For example, if you are somewhat supportive of the government, but not overall satisfied, you may only give the government a rating of 3 or 4 which still helps for government when working out the overall rating, but in such an example you would give a “not satisfied” which means Yingluck gets the equivalent of a zero. This can also work in reverse and if you are only somewhat satisfied with the government, you may only give a 6, but you still give Yingluck a satisfied so it is a full score. Of course, you have the separate fact that one is asking about Yingluck and the other is asking about the government and people may have different views on these. The same goes for Abhisit and the government – see Abhisit’s scores in the South versus those of his government.

Compared with her government, Yingluck does better in the Northeast, 82.72% versus 7.42, and slightly better in the North 66.43% versus 6.53, but worse in Bangkok, the Central Region, and the South. Then again, BP is not surprised by this.

3. Percentage of people who are satisfied with the performance of Yingluck government in solving various problems (ร้อยละของประชาชนที่พึงพอใจต่อการแก้ไขปัญหาด้านต่างๆ ของรัฐบาลนางสาวยิ่งลักษณ์ ชินวัตร)


NOTE: Ratings are not out of 10, it is simply satisfied/not satisfied (approval rating).

BP: Again, BP has included the weighed numbers based on the population of each region. See explanation in 1.1 (used same population stats from Mahidol).These are issues chosen by NIDA and well, the choosing of them is quite subjective – the economic one is likely to be important in an election than say the South – but at least they asked the same questions for the Abhisit government so there is some point of comparison. Needless to say, those in the North and the Northeast are relatively happy with most things, ie 55% are satisfied with the performance in solving problems in the Deep South compared with only 11% in the South who are satisfied. Clearly, their views of the government – positive or negative – is reflected in their assessment.

*Survey data methodology:

Region: Bangkok 277, Central 277, North 277, Northeast 272, and South 276

Sex:Males 49%; Females 51%

Under 25, 221 (16%)
25-39, 539 (39%)
40-59, 513 (37%)
60+, 106 (8%)

BP: As with most polls, this seems to under-represent those aged over 60. This is probably because these people are more likely to be at home and are harder to survey.

Buddhist 95%,
Christian 4%,
Muslim 1%

BP: Don’t normally include religion, but this is just bizarre. (P.S thought: Upon second look, think Nida just mislabeled their field headings and switched Muslims and Christians because 47 out of the 58 Christians or 47 out of 276 ppl surveyed were in the South (i.e. if it had been Muslims it would match fairly accurately in reality)).

Education Status : Grade 6 or less, 407 (30%)
Grade 12 or equivalent, 467 (34%)
Vocational Certificate or equivalent, 132 (10%)
Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, 332 (24%)
Higher than Bachelor’s degree, 41 (3%)

Employment Status:
Civil Servant/state enterprise, 147 (11%)
Private company employee, 211 (15%)
Business owner/freelance (includes self-employed), 276 (20%)
Farmers/laborers, 467 (34%)
Housewife/house-husband/retired/unemployed, 143 (10%)
Students, 135 (10%)

BP: Again, the “Housewife/house-husband/retired/unemployed” category probably under-represents this group and the student group is over-represented although this is the nature of most polls (i.e as they are mostly at home and hence more difficult to survey).

Income (monthly):
None, 267 (19%)
Less than 10,000, 538 (39%)
10,001-20,000, 305 (22%)
20,001-30,000, 106 (8%)
30,001-40,000, 346 (3%)
More than 40,000, 54 (4%)
Unspecified, 63 (5%)

**BP couldn’t find an explanation that NIDA had already adjusted the regional ratings by population. There is mention of the  SE Mean figure but the Poll itself doesn’t say that NIDA has already adjusted the ratings and given that the total figure is simply reached by adding up the regional ratings and dividing by 5, BP has to assume NIDA hasn’t. The alternative is that NIDA has adjusted the regional ratings which would be a little bizarre if they did so as the regional ratings are accurate, the only figure you need to adjust is the total.