Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha on a visit to Mukdahan on February 6. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – The incumbent Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha has been the most popular choice for the post of prime minister in the next general election, according to a recent poll conducted by the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA).

The survey sampled opinions from nearly 2,100 people, aged over 18 and with various occupations and educational backgrounds, between February 4-7.

Of the ten most favoured prime ministerial candidates, Prayut Cha-o-cha led the field polling 26.06 percent. He was followed by Sudarat Keyuraphan of the Pheu Thai Party, with 24.01 percent.

In the party race, the Pheu Thai, which consists of supporters of ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra, topped the list, with 36.49 percent, followed by the Palang Pracharat Party with 22.57 percent, and the Democrat Party at 15.21 percent.

In addition, 54.85 percent of those surveyed set standards of living and debt problems as top priorities for the new government to address; followed by 27.93 percent for farm product prices; 4.26 percent for free education up to university level; and 2.7 percent for the fight against corruption.

Up to 98.13 percent of the respondents said that they will choose to vote in the general election, while 0.96 percent said they will definitely not.

In late January, the Election Commission announced that the general election will be held on March 24 to restore civilian rule. This will be the first general election in the country since the military coup in 2014.

Also last month, the Thai Government lifted a ban on political activities, allowing parties to legally organise election campaigns.–VNA