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On 20 April 2023, Prajak Kongkirati of the Faculty of Political Science at Thammasat University, discussed in Direk Interview the three main factors that could determine the results of the upcoming election. 

Prajak Kongkirati

The major party benefits from the 2-ballot electoral system

Prajak said that those who study political science know that election results are governed by the rules. Which political party will have an advantage or disadvantage depends on the voting system.

He explained that there has been a major change in the rules that predetermined almost 50% of the election results. Different election systems create advantages or disadvantages for different parties. This system is the same as the one used under the 1997 constitution, called the 2-ballot electoral system. It includes constituency-based MPs and party-list MPs, who are voted on separately. 

Prajak believed that major parties, such as the Pheu Thai Party, will benefit from this system. The party has been familiar with the system since 2011 and has performed well. Therefore, the party has had a strong brand with a lot of representatives. The Pheu Thai party has a solid voter base and many candidates in the north and northeast regions, which together have over 200 seats.

Pheu Thai Party

Prajak added that this election system is known in academic terms as a Mixed Member Majoritarian system. Small and medium-sized parties will be disadvantaged. Even if, in constituency voting, they receive a lot of votes, they will not win a constituency seat unless they come first. He noted that in this system the number of seats won does not reflect the exact proportion or popularity of each party.

“To be clear, In the last election, 27 parties won seats in parliament. But, with the 2-ballot electoral system at this time, only 10-12 parties are likely to get seats,” said Prajak.


Conservative parties are weakening; the voting base is divided.

Prajak said the parties or the conservative or authoritarian parties are weakening as they are competing against each other. In the previous election, they formed a coalition under one party, the Palang Pracharath Party. However, this time Palang Pracharath has split, dividing its resources, representatives, and even the state apparatus – the police, military, governors, subdistrict chiefs, village heads. It is widely known which parties the state apparatus supports. In the last election, votes from them went to Palang Pracharath. For now, they will struggle to decide whether to support Prayut Chan-o-cha or Prawit Wongsuwon.

The voting base of conservative parties also faces a hard time deciding which party to vote for. Both Prayut and Prawit have their own different strengths. Prayut is perceived as a strong leader who cherishes the nation, religions, and monarchy, so he gets a lot of conservative votes. However, He does not have the image of a politician. He has never taken part in a single debate nor run for MP. 

Prawit’s image seems not as strong as Prayut, who is more appealing to conservative voters. While Prayut’s popularity as a prime minister may be higher, Prawit is skilled at building a political network and bringing resources to his party.

“To make it simple, the votes that Palang Pracharath obtained will be divided into two parties. Ruam Thai Sang Chart (United Thai Nation) and the Palang Pracharath parties may get 30-40 seats each, or if they are doing well, up to 50 seats each. Prajak added that this will make it difficult for the government party in the last parliament to form a government by itself,” Prajak stated.


The government’s performance is the main factor voters consider.

In recent years, elections in several countries have depended on how well the government managed the situation under COVID-19. If the economy is still intact, the party in power will have a chance to gain trust and win the next election. On the other hand, If the party in power did not handle the situation well, they will likely lose in the election.

He added that In Thailand, people will judge how the government’s performance in the past 4 years has been. If the majority feels that the government under Prayut has done well in every respect, they have a chance of winning. But if the majority feels that the government failed in running the country, voters will give the opposition parties a chance to show their abilities. 

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