E-saan Poll shows 10 point drop in support for Puea Thai, Democrats also slightly down
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E-saan Poll shows 10 point drop in support for Puea Thai, Democrats also slightly down

The latest E-Saan poll* surveyed 1,190 people in all 20 provinces in the Northeast between November 1-3, 2013 on the latest amnesty

Q1: Do you agree with the “all-in” (ฉบับสุดซอย-เหมาเข่ง) Amnesty Bill for all groups?

A. No, 46.6%
B. Yes, 31.6%
C. Unsure, 21.8%

BP: So only a plurality against – compared with clear majorities – but this is the Northeast and well if you can’t even get plurality support for the Amnesty Bill in the Northeast…

Q2: Asks people if they could choose which groups would you give amnesty too, with the 8 groups being (เมื่อสอบถามว่า หากสามารถเลือกได้ ต้องการให้นิรโทษกรรมให้คนกลุ่มใดบ้าง โดยมีกลุ่มที่เกี่ยวข้อง 8 กลุ่มให้พิจารณา)>

1. For the PAD protesters (บมวลชนกลุ่มพันธมิตรประชาชนเพื่อประชาธิปไตย), 53.4% want they them to face justice/enter the justice system, 27.9% want them to get amnesty, and 18.7% are unsure.

2. For the PAD leaders (แกนนำกลุ่มพันธมิตรฯ),  67.7% want they them to face justice/enter the justice system, 16.7% want them to get amnesty, and 15.6% are unsure.

3.  For the red shirt protesters (มวลชนกลุ่มคนเสื้อแด), 46% want them to get amnesty, 41% want they them to face justice/enter the justice system, and 13% are unsure.

4. For the red shirt leaders (มวลชนกลุ่มคนเสื้อแดง),  51.6% want they them to face justice/enter the justice system, 35.9% want them to get amnesty, and 12.5% are unsure.

5. For military officials involved in dispersing the protesters (บกลุ่มเจ้าหน้าที่ทหารที่เกี่ยวข้องกับการสลายการชุมนุม), 57% want them to face justice/enter the justice system, 22% want them to get amnesty, and 20.8% are unsure.

NOTE: Wish they had divided up soldiers vs military officers which does conflate things as am sure more sympathy for soldiers than the brass.

6. For Thaksin, 52.4% want him to face justice/enter the justice system, 36.7% want them to get amnesty, and 10.9% are unsure.

7. For Abhisit and Suthep, 72.5% them to face justice/enter the justice system, 14.4% want them to get amnesty, and 13.1% are unsure.

NOTE: Wonder how many % Abhisit is dragged down by being linked with Suthep (who is not the most popular figure)

8) For lese majeste alleged offenders (ผู้ต้องหาคดีหมิ่นพระบรมเดชานุภาพ), 71.5% want them to face justice/enter the justice system, 14.4% want them to get amnesty, and 14.1% are unsure.

NOTE: It is unsure whether those polled were clearly thinking about the distinction, but alleged offenders refers to those who have been charged and not just those who have had complaints made against them.

BP: Where does one start. As it is clear from this poll, this is what people if they could choose would like to happen and not necessarily what they would accept if there were compromises are also the strength of their feelings. However, you can see the divergence between yellow protesters (53.4% want them to enter justice system, only 27.9% for amnesty) vs red shirt protesters  (41% want them to enter justice system, only 46% for amnesty)  although red shirt leaders don’t fare as well as the protesters, the PAD leaders fare even worse than the military as a whole.

For 8), again without thinking about compromises, and while people may sympathise, it doesn’t mean they are willing to let those who have been charged with lese majeste offences go free. They rank on parallel with Abhisit and Suthep….

Q3: When asked whether those who have had cases taken against them by the NACC and AEC/ASC as a result of the 2006 coup on what should happen?

A. 36.5% should have cases proceed under the justice system further
B. 25% should get amnesty
C. 17.5% should start under the justice system afresh ( ต้องการให้เริ่มกระบวนการยุติธรรมใหม่ทั้งหมด)
D. 21% are unsure

BP: C is the Nitirat position in relation to amending Article 309 of the Constitution and if BP was to choose this is the much cleaner and more logically justifiable way of resolving the cases, but it only gets 17.5%. Then again none of the other answers are close to a plurality.

Q4. When asked about the rushing/urgent nature of the passing of the Amnesty Bill for the 3rd reading and how they think?

A. 44.1% think it was not appropriate
B. 28.3% are unsure
C. 27.6% think it was appropriate.

BP: There is the whole procedural element and the process by which the revised Amnesty Bill wording came about. The change in wording was sudden, urgent putting on the agenda, and then passage.

Q5: If there was a new election, which party would you vote for (เมื่อถามความคิดเห็นว่าหากมีการเลือกตั้งครั้งใหม่คนอีสานจะเลือกพรรคการ เมืองใด)

NOTE: The None for November 1-3 is actually None/Vote No (no mention of ‘vote no’ previously)

BP: So support for Puea Thai has dropped 10 points – although it is not actually the worse result and the numbers have fluctuated a lot in the past 18 months – but this clearly is bad news for the government. However, for the Democrats, not only do they not gain, they slightly lose support. Then again, this is not really surprising, because it is not really a zero-sum game with Puea Thai losing support and it going to the Democrats, particularly in the Northeast. Anger that Puea Thai is willing to give amnesty to Abhisit and Suthep won’t result then in people switching to vote for the Democrats. It will be interesting to see which minor parties gain. Chuwit’s middle-ground rhetoric could make him the perfect protest vote….

It is hard to predict the future as it depends on what happens with the Amnesty bill from now on, but anger towards Puea Thai is likely to dissipate over time. A poll in 3 months is probably a better gauge of how much the Amnesty Bill has hurt Puea Thai, but from getting 48% for the party vote at the last election, BP would say a 5% drop because of the Amnesty Bill and what could be termed Puea Thai’s “more compromising to the establishment attitude” (it was easier in opposition when you could campaign on what you were against, but it is harder to implement this pure approach and often vague rhetoric and such compromises whether so far on the constitution or amnesty hurts Puea Thai). Many people  will still support Puea Thai because of economic issues (whether past or current programs), but when they had the ideology and were mostly in sync with the reds at the election it was easier for them to attract support…

*E-saan poll is not a poll that BP has frequently blogged on and hence you may wonder how accurate are their polls. As noted in a post last year:

Two months before the 2011 election, they surveyed voters in all 20 provinces in the Northeast on which party people would vote for in the July 3, 2011 election. The result was Puea Thai, 63.9%; Democrats, 20.7%; and Bhum Jai Thai, 9.1%. The actual election results for the party vote for the Northeast was Puea Thai 68.2%, Democrats 14.7%, and Bhum Jai Thai 6.5%. Given the survey took place before Yingluck’s introduction (which helped PT), and PT’s strong election performance and the Democrats’s poor performance, the E-san poll appears to have a history – although that pre-election poll surveyed over 2,000 people whereas more recent polls have only surveyed just over 1,000 people each time.

The big advantage of the E-san poll compared with other polls that provide a regional breakdown is that the E-san poll surveys people in all 20 provinces whereas most other pollsters only survey a handful of provinces in each region which are not necessarily reflective of the entire region. This means regional breakdowns are not always accurate.

BP has blogged on the December 2011, January 2012, and February-March 2012 E-saan polls here, the May 2012 poll here, June 2012 poll here, June 2013 poll here, and September/October 2013 poll here.