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Thaksin Shinawatra and Pita Limjaroenrat: Titans of Thai Politics According to Latest Nida Poll

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In the intricate tapestry of Thai politics, where power plays and emotional narratives intertwine like the threads of a meticulously woven silk scarf, a recent poll has painted a vivid picture of the current political landscape, resonating deeply with the hearts and minds of the Thai populace. At the core of this fascinating narrative are two figures who stand out in stark contrast, yet both hold a special place in the public’s consciousness: Thaksin Shinawatra, the enigmatic ex-premier whose influence seems to loom large over the nation’s political sphere, and Pita Limjaroenrat, the resilient former leader of the Move Forward Party, who commands a profound reservoir of public sympathy.

The National Institute of Development Administration, known affectionately as Nida Poll, embarked on a quest in late February to gauge public opinion. They reached out to 1,310 individuals across the beautiful expanse of Thailand, from the bustling streets of Bangkok to the serene countryside of Chiang Mai and beyond. The question was simple yet thought-provoking: “Who do you consider to be the most influential political figures in our land?”

The answer was as revealing as a moonlit night uncovering the mysteries of a hidden valley. Thaksin Shinawatra emerged as the indomitable giant in this political landscape, being deemed almost twice as influential as the current guardian of Thailand’s highest office, Premier Srettha Thavisin. The former premier’s legacy, it seems, has left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of many, showcasing the enduring power of charisma and governance in shaping public perception.

Let’s delve into the poll’s treasure trove of findings:

  • The magnanimous Thaksin Shinawatra was chosen by an impressive 42.90% of respondents.
  • In the runner-up position, embodying the helm of current affairs, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin secured 21.91%.
  • Pita Limjaroenrat, the embodiment of resilience and unfulfilled potential, garnered 17.40%.
  • The charismatic former prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha followed with 15.11%.
  • A contemplative 10.15% felt that no one fit the mantle of influence.
  • And the tapestry continued, with each thread representing the myriad personalities contributing to Thailand’s vibrant political spectrum.

The plot thickens as we explore another facet of Thai public opinion: empathy. In a turn of events that would not seem out of place in a heart-wrenching drama, Pita Limjaroenrat emerged as the protagonist most deserving of the audience’s sympathy. With a storyline featuring aspirations cut short by the iron will of a junta-appointed Senate, Limjaroenrat’s saga resonated with nearly half of the respondents, a testament to the power of human connection and the collective yearning for what could have been.

  • Garnering a whopping 46.79%, Pita Limjaroenrat became the emblem of thwarted dreams and aspirations.
  • 17.86% chose to express sympathy for “Nobody”, a poignant reflection of disillusionment or perhaps a deeper commentary on the state of affairs.

This tableau of sentiments and perceptions sheds light not just on the power dynamics and emotional undercurrents of Thai politics but also on the enduring human desire for leadership that resonates, for figures who not only wield influence but also empathize with and embody the hopes, dreams, and struggles of the common man. In the land of smiles, the saga of Thaksin Shinawatra and Pita Limjaroenrat continues to captivate, inviting onlookers from near and far to ponder the intricacies of power, sympathy, and the undying flame of public sentiment.


  1. BangkokVoice March 3, 2024

    Thaksin’s influence, despite his years of absence from Thailand, just goes to show how deeply rooted his policies and persona are in the Thai political psyche. It’s a testament to his impact, for better or worse.

    • IsaanInsider March 3, 2024

      Absolutely, his era was one of significant economic growth for Thailand, and many people haven’t forgotten that. But it’s essential to remember the controversies too.

      • PattayaPundit March 3, 2024

        The controversies you’re talking about were often exaggerated by his political rivals. Every leader has flaws, but his contributions were monumental.

    • BangkokVoice March 3, 2024

      True, and it’s fascinating to see the split in public opinion. It seems like Thai politics is still very much in the shadow of its past leaders.

  2. NorthernStar March 3, 2024

    Pita’s storyline is a classic example of what many young Thais aspire to change in the country’s political landscape. It’s heartbreaking yet inspiring.

  3. ChiangMaiChatter March 3, 2024

    I find it intriguing that so many chose ‘Nobody’ for the most sympathy-deserving figure. It feels like a significant portion of the populace is becoming cynical about the whole political process.

    • SukhumvitSkeptic March 3, 2024

      Cynicism or realism? After years of political roller coasters, it’s hard not to feel a bit disillusioned.

      • ChiangMaiChatter March 3, 2024

        Good point. Realism probably is the better word. The constant cycle of hope and disappointment is tiring.

  4. DemocracyDreamer March 3, 2024

    As much as Thaksin and Pita are significant, focusing solely on them misses the broader spectrum of political engagement and the numerous unsung heroes pushing for change at the grassroots level.

  5. ThaiTrendWatcher March 3, 2024

    It’s rather telling how the current PM only secured second place, trailing significantly behind Thaksin. Shows there might be room for a major political shake-up soon.

    • RealPolitikR March 3, 2024

      Wishful thinking. The political establishment has deep roots, and any significant change will be gradual and fraught with resistance.

  6. SustainableSam March 3, 2024

    I’m just here wondering when environmental issues will become a central theme in Thai politics. Leaders come and go, but climate change remains an ever-growing threat.

    • GreenRice March 3, 2024

      It’s disappointing, true. However, Pita and others from the younger generation of politicians seem more open to addressing these urgent issues. There’s hope yet.

  7. ThePeopleSpeak March 3, 2024

    The high percentage for Thaksin doesn’t surprise me. Regardless of how you feel about him, his era was one of bold promises and big changes. People haven’t forgotten that, especially in rural areas.

    • EconWatcher101 March 3, 2024

      Exactly, and it’s about the economy at the end of the day. Thaksin’s policies directly benefited those who felt overlooked by previous governments.

  8. CulturalCritic March 3, 2024

    It’s somewhat poetic how Thaksin and Pita, representing different generations and political ideologies, are both seen as influential. It speaks to the complexity of Thai politics.

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