Move Forward's Pita Limjaroenrat outpolled Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha -- 13.4% to 12.6% -- for the post of premier in an opinion survey released on Sunday.
More than twice as many respondents, however, or 27.6%, said nobody was suitable for the post, according to the first quarterly survey on potential PM candidates by the National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll.
The poll was conducted March 10-15 among 2,020 people throughout the country aged 18 and above.
The replies varied as follows:
27.6% said they had yet to see anybody suitable for the post;
13.4% backed Pita Limjaroenrat citing his vision, straightforwardness and new ideas;
12.6% backed Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha saying he was an honest person who had brought peace to the country and whose policies help the people;
12.5% backed Paetongtarn Shinawatra of the Pheu Thai Party, saying they were impressed by the achievements of the Shinawatra family; and
8.2% were for Khunying Sudarat, leader of the Thai Srang Thai Party, citing her experience in the country's administration.
Asked about which party they favoured, replies were: