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PPRP's Flagging Popularity Expected To Cause Widespread Defections


Government Chief Whip Nirote Sunthornlekha played down reports suggesting that the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) could fall apart as dozens of MPs were looking to defect. Nirote noted that the PPRP remains united and there is nothing unusual about some lawmakers switching parties.

  • Political sources told the Bangkok Post that the PPRP's declining popularity is the main factor encouraging MPs to defect. Most likely to change parties are the party's Bangkok MPs, who are seeking opportunities to keep their seats in the next election.
  • The Bangkok Post reports that the rift among senior PPRP members "is said to be irreconcilable" and defections are expected to begin in late December, once the Election Commission confirms a timeline for the next general election, which has been tentatively scheduled for May 2023.
  • Opinion polls indicate that support for the PPRP is in single digits. In surveys about the preferred Prime Minister, current head of government Prayuth lags opposition leaders, while PPRP chief Prawit fails to make it into the list of top candidates for whom specific support levels are being counted.
  • Economic headwinds help undermine the ruling party's popularity. In the latest Suan Dusit Poll, more than half of Thais said their income is insufficient to cover daily expenses and 77% don't believe that the government will solve their problems.

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