Ban slips but holds, Vike Freiberga pushes into third

Ban slipped by one vote in today’s straw poll, but maintained an overall strong standing relative to his fellow candidates. Tharoor also held onto second place, but lost two encouragements to the “no opinion” column. 

But it was Latvia’s President Vaira Vike-Frieberga that achieved the surprise victory, pushing past the other challengers to secure an impressive if not strong third place standing. On top of being the only non-Asian in the race, this was an outstanding showing for a candidate that entered the race less than two weeks ago. 

  Encourage Discourage No Opinion
Ban 13 1 1
Tharoor 8 3 4
Vike-Freiberga 7 6 2
Surakiart 5 7 3
Zeid 3 6 6
Ghani 3 6 6
Dhanapala 3 7 5

All other candidates received more discouragements than encouragements, including former third-place holder Surakiart. Nearly half of his former encouragers now firmly discourage his continued candidacy. Even if all those holding “no opinion” were to rally behind him, the beseiged Thai candidate would not secure even the minimum number of votes to win. 

Zeid’s standing was cut in half, losing three of his supporting votes in the last two weeks. Ghani barely eaked out a poor sixth-place showing, and like Zeid, received twice as many discouragements as encouragements.

Dhanapala did even worse this round, not only coming in last again, but picking up two more discouragements. Given their insufficient encouragement plus “no opinion” tallies, he and Surakiart need to honestly reappraise whether to continue.

More analysis and commentary are sure to be forthcoming as we head toward Monday’s color-coded straw poll.

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