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Thailand on the Brink: NIDA Poll Reveals Public Skepticism Towards Thaksin Shinawatra’s Influence on Pheu Thai Party

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Imagine, if you will, a bustling scene across Thailand, where the air buzzes not just with the swelter of the late spring but also with the whispers and chatter of political intrigue. The stage is set by a survey, a meticulous canvas stretching from the golden beaches of Phuket to the bustling streets of Bangkok. Orchestrated by the National Institute of Development Administration, famously known as NIDA Poll, this survey spanned three riveting days from April 9 to 11, weaving through the nation to capture the voices of 1,310 individuals, each aged 18 and older, each harboring a thought, an opinion, an inclination towards the future of their country.

In the heart of this political drama stands an enigmatic figure, Thaksin Shinawatra, the patriarch looming over the Pheu Thai landscape, his shadow also stretching over the hopeful ambitions of his daughter, Paetongtarn Shinawatra, the spirited leader of Pheu Thai. Picture this: amidst the vibrant celebrations of Songkran, where water symbolizes purification and renewal, MPs, ministers, and even the hopeful Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, congregated, seeking blessings from Thaksin, turning a familial moment into a spectacle of potential political resurgence.

But what do the people think? This is where our tale twists. When prompted to consider Thaksin’s recent parole in February and its impact on the Pheu Thai Party, the populace painted a picture of skepticism and wariness:

  • A significant 40.81% shrugged off his endeavors as having no effect, echoing the sentiment that perhaps in the grand tapestry of Thai politics, some threads weave patterns that go unnoticed.
  • 33.21% viewed his activities through a lens of concern, worried that his shadow might cast darkness rather than light on the party’s prospects, hinting at a negative impact.
  • On the flip side, 19.54% held a beacon of hope, believing in a positive influence, a testament to undying loyalty and faith in the face of adversity.
  • And then, there were the 6.64%, the enigmatic no-commenters, whose silence speaks volumes, or perhaps nothing at all.

As if the political theater wasn’t enthralling enough, the survey dove deeper, probing the nation’s pulse on Pheu Thai’s chances in the forthcoming electoral showdown. The anticipation thickens, the air charged with expectation:

  • A circumspect 32.98% veered towards the dramatic, deeming victory an impossibility, a stark forewarning of a plot twist they deemed inevitable.
  • The optimists, making up 29.24%, whispered tales of a ‘rather possible’ triumph, their eyes glistening with the hope of a political fairy tale come to life.
  • 21.14% donned the cloak of skepticism, leaning towards a ‘rather impossible’ outcome, their caution perhaps a shield against impending disappointment.
  • The believers, the dreamers, 12.82% of them, boldly proclaimed a ‘very likely’ success, their faith unwavering in the face of uncertainty.
  • And again, the silent 3.82%, floating like ghosts through the narrative, choosing neither to speak nor to sway.

In this entangled web of politics, perception, and prophecy, Thailand stands at a crossroads, its populace divided, its future as enigmatic as ever. The NIDA Poll, like a mirror held up to the nation, reflects not just opinions but the very essence of democracy in action — complex, contentious, and ever captivating. The question of Pheu Thai’s destiny remains a cliffhanger, leaving us all on the edge of our seats, eagerly awaiting the next turn of the page in Thailand’s political saga.


  1. SiamLover April 21, 2024

    Honestly, Thaksin’s influence in Thai politics is a double-edged sword. Yes, he has a questionable past, but his economic policies did bring some level of prosperity to Thailand. I’m not surprised that there’s still a segment that views his involvement positively.

    • BangkokBill April 21, 2024

      I totally disagree. The man’s been a controversial figure from the get-go. His policies might have seemed beneficial, but at what cost? Corruption and cronyism ring any bells?

      • SiamLover April 21, 2024

        I acknowledge the controversies, but you can’t disregard the infrastructure and healthcare improvements during his tenure. Perfect? No. But politics rarely is.

    • ThaiPatriot101 April 21, 2024

      You’re both missing the point. It’s not about what he did or didn’t do. It’s about moving forward. Thailand needs leaders who look ahead, not ones tied to past controversies.

  2. IsaanGirl April 21, 2024

    Skepticism towards Thaksin’s role is warranted. His era had both good and bad, but we can’t let a single family dictate our political fate forever. Time for new faces in Thai politics!

    • UrbanWarrior April 21, 2024

      Exactly! The fascination with political dynasties needs to end. Thailand deserves leaders who can address today’s challenges without being shadowed by their family’s past.

  3. ChiangMaiChuck April 21, 2024

    40.81% see Thaksin’s endeavors as having no effect? Goes to show that a significant portion of the population is indifferent or has moved on. The man’s political relevance seems to be waning.

    • NostalgicRedshirt April 21, 2024

      I wouldn’t say his relevance is waning. Thaksin still holds a lot of emotional pull among the rural and poor communities. They haven’t forgotten his policies that favored them.

      • ChiangMaiChuck April 21, 2024

        Fair point, but emotional pull doesn’t always translate into political power. The real test will be the polls. Let’s see if sentiment can indeed sway votes.

  4. PrayutFan April 21, 2024

    All this focus on Thaksin and what? We’re ignoring the current leadership’s efforts to stabilize and grow Thailand’s economy. Let’s not get distracted by political theatrics.

    • DemocracyNow April 21, 2024

      Stabilize? Grow? The current leadership has its share of controversies too, and let’s not start on the democracy aspect. Every era has its flaws, but accountability should be constant.

  5. RedBuffalo April 21, 2024

    The only thing surprising is that anyone is surprised. Thai politics is as unpredictable as ever, and Thaksin’s influence, whether good or bad, is a testament to that unpredictability.

    • YellowWave April 21, 2024

      Unpredictable? More like a scripted drama. We need real change, not the same old story with the same old characters.

      • RedBuffalo April 21, 2024

        Scripted or not, change isn’t easy. It requires more than just a shift in characters; it needs a transformation in the political culture of our country.

  6. TouristTim April 21, 2024

    As an outsider, it’s fascinating to see the passion in Thai politics. But it’s also clear that this is a pivotal moment. Hopes for democracy and progress ride on these elections.

  7. HuaHinHenry April 21, 2024

    Everyone’s talking Thaksin this, Thaksin that. What about the policies? Let’s focus on what’s being proposed for Thailand’s future, not just who’s behind the curtain.

    • PolicyWonk April 21, 2024

      Exactly! Personalities aside, Thailand needs solid policies for economic growth, education, and health. Who cares who proposes them, as long as they work for the people.

      • HuaHinHenry April 21, 2024

        That’s the spirit. It’s high time policy took center stage. Leaders should be facilitators for progress, not celebrities vying for our affection.

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