Thais name their favourites this year

The celebration of His Majesty the King’s 86th birthday brought the most happiness this year to many Thai people, and the continuing political turbulence the most sadness, Suan Dusit Poll said on Monday.

The pollsters at Suan Dusit Rajabhat University based the finding on its annual survey, interviewing 6,759 people of all occupations nationwide between Dec 10 and 29.

Asked what brought them the most happiness, 48.88% of respondents said the King’s birthday anniversary, 43.55% of them pointed to Songkran and the New Year holidays, and 7.57% said the country's sporting successes at the recent SEA Games, Suan Dusit Poll reported.

Asked about their saddest thoughts,  40.65% of the respondents  said the political conflict and divisions among Thai people, 35.84% said the death of the Supreme Patriarch and 23.51% pointed to the southern unrest.

Asked for their favourite modern-style Thai male singer, 38.12% said Toon Body Slam, 37.39% favoured  Singto Numchoke and 24.49%  Stamp, aka Apiwat Eurthavornsuk.

Da Endorphine topped the poll for female singers with 56.32%, while 28.65% backed Parn Thanaporn and 15.03% opted for New Jiew.

Phai Pongsathorn was most favoured male folk singer, supported by 53.20% of respondents, followed by Bao Wee (28.76%) and Pee Saderd (18.04%).

The most favoured female singer  was Ying Lee, backed by 41.62% of the polled people, followed by Baitei R-Siam (35.57%) and Takkatan Chonlada (22.81%).

On the most favoured male television stars, 37.19% said Nadech Kugimiya, 33.59% pointed to James Jirayu and 29.22% supported Boy Pakorn.

Yaya Urassaya got most support for favourite female star, with 39.24%, followed by Am, aka Phatcharapha Chaichur, (36%) and Chompoo Araya (24.86%).

In the sporting arena,  the favourite male athlete according to 46.53% of the respondents was Thai boxer Chatchai Butdee, while 29.09% pointed to Theerathon Bunmathan, a Thai footballer and Theerasil Dangda, another Thai footballer.

On the female athletes, 55.22% chose Thai volleyball player Pluemchit Thinkhao, 26.97% pointed to Thai badminton star Ratchanok Intanont and 17.81% supported another volleyball player, Nootsara Tomkham.

Asked to choose their favourite male politicians, 54.53% said Abhisit Vejjajiva, 24.39% backed fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra and 21.08% pointed to Suthep Thaugsuban.

Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was the most favoured female politician in the eyes of respondents, with 61.90% support, followed by Paveena Hongsakul (20.95%) and Sudarat Keyuraphan (17.15%).

Asked about their hopes for 2014, 46.90% of respondents said peace in the country and national reconciliation, 34.05% said a better economy and prosperity for the country, and 19.05% said the end of southern violence.

On their wishes for the New Year, 36.72% said for  the King to remain in strong physical health, 32.13% hoped for good health for themselves and their family, and 31.15% said their own good fortune.

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