BANGKOK March 19 (BLOOMBERG) - Ms Paetongtarn Shinawatra, daughter of former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra, widened her lead as the voters’ top choice for prime minister in the latest opinion poll ahead of a general election tentatively scheduled for May.

Ms Paetongtarn, who represents Thailand’s largest opposition party, Pheu Thai, garnered 38.2 per cent of support in a poll of 2,000.

It is the latest edition of a quarterly survey by the National Institute of Development Administration. Her approval jumped from 34 per cent in the previous poll conducted in December.

Pheu Thai seeks to end nearly a decade of military-backed rule with pledges to lift the minimum wage by 70 per cent and boost economic growth to an average of 5 per cent annually if voted into power.

Incumbent Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha garnered the backing of 15.7 per cent of respondents, also up from December’s 14 per cent, ranking him third.

The coup-leader-turned-premier kicked off his campaign to extend his rule by ordering the dissolution of the nation’s Parliament, a prerequisite for the May poll.

Mr Prayut said last Friday that he has prepared a decree to dissolve the Parliament and that it is awaiting royal endorsement.