In a latest twist to the debate, Abac Poll said yesterday 6 in ten people in the Northeast, seen as Thaksin's political stronghold, and about half of
Bangkok's residents, were inclined to agree to the idea of granting amnesty for politicians convicted of corruption.
The survey was conducted in a sample of 4,102 respondents from 17 provinces nationwide, including Bangkok.
Although the average of one in two people nationwide opposed the idea of a royal pardon, the intensity of the opposition varied from region to region.
The opposition was strongest in the South where four in five people ruled out a royal pardon for Thaksin.
Individual backgrounds influenced the outlook on whether a graft offender should be granted a royal pardon.
About 48 per cent of non-university graduates found a graft pardon acceptable while 35 per cent of those with a Bachelor's degree agreed with the idea. The percentage plunged to 22 per cent for those with graduate studies.
Roughly half the unemployed and retirees were in favour of a royal pardon.
Democrat Party MP Thepthai Senpong said his main coalition party wanted to remind the red shirts to heed criticism about the appropriateness of the signature campaign.
"Righteousness and appropriateness are two key issues that the red shirts should carefully consider before proceeding any further to submit the petition seeking a royal pardon on Thaksin's behalf," Thepthai said.
He was reacting to speculation that the red shirts might have completed soliciting one million signatures to endorse the petition.
He said the content of the draft petition contained statements deemed an insult the judicial review done under the name of His Majesty.
Senator Prasarn Maruekhapitak said it was erroneous to make a comparison between the signature campaign carried out on Thaksin's behalf and the tradition of sounding a bell to petition the King in the Sukhothai era.
"In the past like the Sukhothai era, the petition would not have happened because a convict who showed no remorse and was involved in the Songkran
mayhem, would have been beheaded along with family members up to seven generations," he said.