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Poll shows mixed opinions on politicians switching parties

Somsak Thepsuthin (right), a Sam Mitr (Three Allies) leader, visits Nakhon Ratchasima on July 22, 2018 to try to persuade politicians in the northeastern region to join the group. (Photo by Prasit Tangprasert)

People offer mixed opinions when asked how they view election candidates moving from one party to another prior to an election, according to the results of an opinion survey by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University or Suan Dusit Poll.

The poll was conducted on July 24-28 on 1,096 people throughout the country to compile their opinions on reports of election candidates switching parties or being poached to join another party.

Almost half of respondents - 47.07% - said it is normal for candidates to switch parties when a new election is drawing near; 31.19% said candidates who do so will be subject to public scrutiny; 30.28% said it is the right of the individual candidates to do so; 22.16% said the practice will weaken the party system; and 16.88% said the people should follow reports about this in order to make a decision on who to vote for.

Asked whether an individual candidate or a political party is more important to them, 38.69% said both are of equal importance; 33.30% said they give more importance to the candidate, who they believe is usually closer to the people than their party; and 28.01% said they attach more importance to the party, reasoning that a strong political party with a strong leader can support the performance of its candidates.

Asked whether they would still vote for a candidate who switches party before an election, 50.91% are uncertain, saying that they will have to consider many factors before making a decision; 27.28% said they will still do so as they attach more importance to individuals than to a party; and 21.81% said they would be disappointed and would not vote for that candidate again.

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