Bangkok Gubernatorial candidate’s aide files complaint against ‘distorted’ Suan Dusit polls
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Bangkok Gubernatorial candidate’s aide files complaint against ‘distorted’ Suan Dusit polls

On February 13, ASTV Manager quotes Prapan Khunmee [former PAD leader and someone now working for Seripisut] that he has been authorized to file a complaint to the Election Commission on his behalf. He states that Suan Dusit Poll conducted a poll between January 23-30 and Pongsapat gets more than 40% and the undecideds are only 9%. After that Suan Dusit conducted another poll between February 4-9 and undecideds were 30% and this information is in conflict (นายประพันธ์ กล่าวภายหลังเข้าให้ข้อมูลนานกว่า 1 ชั่วโมง ว่าได้นำใบรับมอบอำนาจจาก พล.ต.อ.เสรีพิศุทธ์ มามอบให้ กกต.กทม.พร้อมเข้าให้ถ้อยคำและนำหลักฐานเอกสารมายื่นเพิ่มเติม โดยเป็นผลโพลของสวนดุสิตโพลระหว่างวันที่ 23-30 ม.ค.ที่ระบุถึงความคิดเห็นของประชาชนเกี่ยวกับการตัดสินใจเลือกผู้สมัครฯผู้ว่า กทม.เบอร์ 9 พล.ต.อ.พงศ์พัศ พงษ์เจริญ เป็นผู้ว่าฯ กทม.ไปแล้วร้อยละ 40 และเหลือผู้มีสิทธิเลือกตั้งที่ยังไม่ตัดสินใจอีกร้อยละ 9 ซึ่งหลังจากนั้นสวนดุสิตโพลก็ได้เผยแพร่ผลโพลอีกครั้งระหว่างวันที่ 4-8 ก.พ.ว่ามีผู้มีสิทธิเลือกตั้งที่ยังไม่ตัดสินใจเหลืออยู่ร้อยละ 30 โดยผลโพล 2 ครั้งดังกล่าวแสดงให้เห็นว่าข้อมูลมีความขัดแย้งกัน). He also states that other polls showing a close race and that the undecideds were 30%, but Suan Dusit Poll showed just 10% so this shows that Suan Dusit Poll is in breach of Section 57(5) of the Local Election Act and is encouraging those to misunderstand the popularity of the candidates ( ขณะที่สำนักโพลอื่น ผลสำรวจออกมามีคะแนนความนิยมสูสีกัน และมีตัวเลขผู้ที่ไม่ตัดสินใจอยู่ร้อยละ 30 ทั้งที่สวนดุสิตโพล เหลือแค่ร้อยละ 10 จะเห็นว่าการทำโพลของสวนดุสิตโพล เข้าข่ายผิดมาตรา 57(5) ของพ.ร.บ.เลือกตั้งท้องถิ่น เป็นจูงใจให้เข้าใจผิดในคะแนนนิยมของผู้สมัคร”).

Prapan also cites Manich Sooksomchitra [who resigned from Suan Dusit Rajabhat University’s council and was critical of the poll] and provided a transcript of what he said. He states this information shows and it is believable that Suan Dusit Poll has a connection with those in government, Puea Thai, and Candidate No. 9 [Pongsapat, the Puea Thai candidate].

BP: As someone who has followed the polls closely, BP just know this was inaccurate. First, the Suan Dusit Poll that was conducted between January 26-30 showing Pongsapat with 41%, but undecideds were 13.93% so Prapan is wrong with the date and number of undecideds (there is no poll conducted between January 23-30 (go to the Suan Dusit Poll Web site and look). Second, for the Suan Dusit poll that was conducted between February 4-8, it was of 414 voters who stated they were not going to vote and asked them their reasons why. They are not voting so they are not undecided. Looked around for other polls around that time and you one between February 2-6 but undecideds are 15.04%. He may be referring to a poll between February 6-9 showing 71% stating they wouldn’t change their minds, 16% saying there is a chance they would change their mind, 7% saying there is come chance they would change their mind, and 6% saying there is little chance that they would change their mind. Those final 3 gets you close to 30%, but changing your mind is completely different from being undecided.This talk of discrepancy between two Suan Dusit Polls about undecided voters is not reflected based on what Prapan cites. Anyone know what he is talking about?

On the undecideds, each poll is different. NIDA have very high number of undecideds between 28-52%; Bangkok University has gone from 17.5% in December (before candidates were chosen and people could then theoretically list anyone) to 42% between January 22-23, and then 25% between February 1-5. ABAC does not list any and Suan Dusit is above and if anything there is the least discrepancy compared with the others. There is no 30% standard from the other polls.

On Manich’s criticism, BP looked at that here and well to be frank don’t understand his criticism.

Baan Muang quotes Prapan as stating that the Isra News has information that the head of Suan Dusit Poll has been the host of events/seminars and has conducted polls for various projects of governments.

Isra News on February 6 had an article quoting former  Suan Dusit Rajabhat University council member Manich and stating that Suan Dusit Rajabhat University had between 2004-2012 been contracted to act as an advisor and research for surveys and polls for 21 government agencies  on 42 occasions for a total of 141,833,820 million Baht.

BP: In case, you think all the spending has occurred recently, a quick calculation shows that 50 million of this is when the Democrats were in government. There doesn’t seem to be much change whoever is in government.

Then, on February 8, Isra News put out a new article. Part of the headline reads “New information; Suan Dusit Poll receives jobs exceeding 500 million baht….(ข้อมูลใหม่สำนักโพล“สวนดุสิต“รับจ๊อบ”กระฉูด 500 ล้าน). The article states there were 113 contracts with 35 government entities for a total 0f 565,255,078 Baht between 2004-2012.

BP: If you actually looks at all the contracts, you will see many education-related contracts. You have a contracts for teaching English to primary school children in the Kanchanaburi municipality. You have have a few different GIS surveys for local authorities.  These are smaller ones, but then you have another 2 contracts where Kanchanaburi province paid 60 million for various contracts for development and knowledge centre and consultancy services. You also have many Ministry of Health contracts etc. Many are with local or provincial authorities. The contents of the article and the wording of the projects shows the vast majority are completely unrelated to polling or any type of work that would be undertaken by Suan Dusit Poll and does not match up with the headline at all. Because government agencies contracted work to the university doesn’t mean they contracted out work to Suan Dusit Poll. Surely, a distinction should be made from the university as a whole with one entity of the university. Need one point out that Suan Dusit is a public university and so is publicly funded anyway so it receives a lot more money from the government….

Then the President of Suan Dusit Poll gave an interview with Isra News. The headline reads “Sukhum [he is the President of Suan Dusit Poll] informs that Suan Dusit Poll receives jobs from the government has not reached the amount 141 million baht” (“สุขุม” แจงสวนดุสิตโพลล์รับจ๊อบจาก รบ.ไม่ถึง 141 ล้านบาท).

BP: The sub-headline is clearer and it is government work for Suan Dusit Poll hasn’t reached the amount of 10 million Baht (ไม่ถึง 10 ล้านบาท).

Also, why just the fuss now given the contracts have been given to Suan Dusit by various governments since 2004. It is not just under the present government. Is it just because people are unhappy with the result? If you want to criticize the wording of polls or the demographics then state your case.

Will look at how accurate Suan Dusit Polls have been in previous gubernatorial races next….