Poll: Yingluck flight turns down political heat

Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra receives roses from supporters gathered at the Supreme Court to give her moral support on Aug 1. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The disappearance of former premier Yingluck Shinawatra prior to the ruling in her rice-pledging trial on Aug 25 has resulted in a reduction of political confrontation, according to the latest survey by Suan Dusit Poll.

The pollster said 82.3% of the 1,187 respondents surveyed from Sept 4-8 believed Ms Yingluck’s no-show at the Supreme Court had a positive impact as it had reduced the atmosphere of confrontation between different political sides.

Other results seen as positive included a reduction in political activity (70.3%), less political tension (68.4%) and rising opportunities for other political parties (66.1%). As well, 53.7% said it would now be easier for the government to control the situation, while 67.7% see the Yingluck case as an example to discourage others from wrongdoing.

However, respondents also saw some negative impacts, including damage to the country’s image (79.4%). As well, 69.3% said the Yingluck case indicated there was no democracy and double standards still existed, 65% said it showed politicians lack credibility, while 72.5% said the government would be watched more closely.

Looking at related issues, 72.5% of respondents said other political parties might step up their activity as the Pheu Thai Party long dominated by the Shinawatra family was now seen as weakened. As well, 66.6% believe underlying political conflicts and divides are still prevalent.

Asked about how Ms Yingluck's disappearance would affect Pheu Thai, 80.9% expect a change in the party’s leader, 75.4% see Pheu Thai having more trouble canvassing and reduced opportunity to form a government, and 70.2% expect more divisions in the party. 

As for the impact on the main opposition Democrat Party, 71.1% see the party as an alternative for the public, while 63.9% suggest the party should shift its canvassing approach.

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