In a gesture of national concern and civic participation, Thais from every corner of the country were asked to lend their voices and perspectives in a survey with a sample size of 1,310 people. Administered by the National Institute of Development Administration (Nida), this survey, conducted from July 11 to 12, asked participants, aged 18 and above, about their thoughts and expectations towards the formation of a new government.
Survey results provided a snapshot of the populace’s opinion. When asked if they believed the formation of a new government would stir up conflict in Thai society, the majority (37.10%) opined positively, while a slightly smaller faction (26.64%) believed it was a possibility. A fifth (20.15%) disagreed, asserting that no discord would arise, while a similar proportion (16.03%) was uncertain. A mere 0.08% responded indifferently.
The public’s confidence in the longevity of the new government was also an area of interest. Most respondents (60.53%) envisioned a successful four-year term, while a smaller contingent (15.34%) anticipated a lifespan of about two years. For some (11.91%), the government was expected to last around a year, while a small group (6.95%) anticipated a term of no more than six months. Two minor segments – forecasters of a three-year span (3.28%) and the unsure or apathetic (1.99%) – were in the minority.
In a separate exploration of national sentiment, the Suan Dusit Poll presented its findings from a survey of 1,809 people, held from July 20 to 22. This second probe illuminated the country’s thoughts on the forthcoming premier’s selection process.
Upon examination of the surveys, a sizable majority (71.73%) warned that the joint parliamentary voting for the Prime Minister could stir societal issues. Additionally, many participants (67.90%) expressed fatigue and disappointment at the lack of tangible progress in Thai politics. The impacts of conflicts on the economy and individual livelihoods were also a concern for a large group (62.23%).
Certain causes of these conflicts were identified by the participants. The majority (74.21%) blamed the ousting, while Senators were held accountable by 63.76% of respondents. The overriding of the people’s vote was also underscored as a potential cause by 62.42% of the sample.
In the quest for solutions, the largest group (77.39%) proposed acknowledging the people’s vote. More than half (57.97%) suggested pursuing peaceful cooperation, while a significant group (47.10%) called for mutual respect underpinned by people’s interests.
In terms of lessons to be learned from these conflicts, people having mutual respect despite political differences was noted by 64.13% of respondents. An age-driven political view difference was recognized by 59.17% of the participants. Furthermore, 55.16% of them expressed the belief that advancing Thai democracy will be challenging.
As for the ramifications of joint parliamentary voting on Thai politics, the prevalent view (40.63%) was one of pessimism, foreseeing a deterioration. Pushing against this view, 33.72% opined it would have no effect, while an optimistic group (25.65%) predicted an improvement.
Adding expert insights to the poll findings, Asst Prof Unchalee Rattana, from Suan Dusit University’s School of Law and Politics, noted the simultaneous existence of boredom and hope amongst Thai citizens in relation to their country’s political state. Despite acknowledging the flawed nature of Thailand’s democracy, she also highlighted a persistent and encouraging optimism, indicative of a population ready to sail alongside their nation, toward a better political tomorrow.