See More on Facebook

Politics

Pheu Thai No 1 choice, but well short of majority

If the former ruling party cannot find a way to majority either through the election or a coalition, it may mean more military rule.


Written by

Updated: March 6, 2019

The previous ruling party, Pheu Thai, is expected to win the most number of seats in the House of Representatives in the March 24 general election although it will fall short of the majority, according to a survey by Nation Group journalists across the country.

Pheu Thai is forecast to win 136 MP seats from all 350 constituencies, dominating the North and Northeast, and likely to take all the seats up for grabs from many provinces in the two regions that still have faith in the party’s patriarch, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The Democrat Party is expected to trail way behind in second place, tipped to win 88 seats mainly from its traditional strongholds in the South and Bangkok.

The pro-junta Phalang Pracharat Party, which has nominated Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha as its only PM candidate, is forecast to win the third most number of House seats – 62 – mainly from the North and Northeast. Many Phalang Pracharat candidates in those constituencies are former MPs from Thaksin’s proxy parties – the now-defunct Thai Rak Thai and People’s Power, and Pheu Thai.

The top three are expected to be followed by Bhumjaithai Party, with 31 House seats, Chartthaipattana (12), Thai Raksa Chart (seven), Chart Pattana (six), Action Coalition for Thailand (four), Prachachart (two), and Peau Chat and Thai Forest Conservation (one each).

Future Forward Party, which is viewed as the darling of young voters, is unlikely to win any seats from constituencies. Its chance rests with the party-list electoral system. The outlook is bleak despite the popularity of the party’s leader, wealthy businessman-turned-politician Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit.

The Nation Election analyses comes from local journalists of the Nation Group, based on their unofficial surveys of eligible voters and insights gained from all 350 constituencies.

In the previous completed general election in 2011, Pheu Thai won a clear majority, with 204 House seats from 375 constituencies. The Democrats came a distant second, with 115 House seats, followed by Bhumjaithai (29) and Chartthaipattana (15). Three other parties won a combined 12 seats.

The next Lower House will have 500 seats – 350 from constituencies and 150 from the party-list system. For the first time in Thailand, only one ballot paper will be used for each voter to elect MPs from both constituency and party list, under a mixed-member proportional representation electoral system.

Pheu Thai will likely continue to dominate the Northeast, which has the most number of House seats – 116. The party’s expected victory in 67 constituencies, however, will be far lower than the 104 in the 2011 election. Its candidates are expected to sweep all the House seats in Nakhon Phanom, Bueng Kan, Mukdahan, Yasothon, Si Sa Ket, Sakon Nakhon, Nong Khai, Nong Bua Lamphu and Udon Thani provinces.

Other House seats in the region are likely to be shared mainly by Phalang Pracharat (25) and Bhumjaithai (13).

In the Central region, which has 92 House seats this time, no single party will be able to dominate. Pheu Thai is expected to win 25 MP seats, followed closely by Phalang Pracharat (23), Democrats (17), Bhumjaithai (13), and Chartthaipattana (10).

However, in the North, Pheu Thai looks set to dominate again. The defending champions are expected to win as many as 36 of the 62 available seats. They will likely be followed by Phalang Pracharat (13), Democrats (seven), Thai Raksa Chart (three), Bhumjaithai (two) and Chart Pattana (one).

The South, which has 50 seats up for grabs, will likely remain a stronghold of the Democrats, who won in 50 out of 53 constituencies in the 2011 election. This time, the Democrats are expected to win 40 House seats. The 10 remaining seats are expected to be shared by Action Coalition for Thailand (four), Bhumjaithai (three), Prachachart (two) and Phalang Pracharat (one).

The Democrats have the potential to sweep all House seats in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Phang-nga, Phatthalung, Phuket, Songkhla and Surat Thani provinces.

In the capital, the Democrats will likely dominate again. They have the potential to win 22 out of the 30 House seats, leaving the remaining eight to arch rivals Pheu Thai.

Other parties are unlikely to have much of a chance in Bangkok, which has been a battlefield for the Democrats and Thaksin’s parties. But the Democrats have dominated the city’s elections since Thaksin’s first party Thai Rak Thai contested in 2001.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Nation (Thailand)
About the Author: The Nation is a broadsheet, English-language daily newspaper founded in 1971 and published in Bangkok, Thailand.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Politics

HK must hold the line, uphold democracy in elections

An editorial in China’s State Run Media. “Deliberate violence”, said the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, “is more to be quenched than a fire.” Although Hong Kong elections have traditionally been relatively peaceful affairs, this has now changed. After the anti-extradition protests morphed into urban guerrilla warfare, every institution is now at risk. A culture of violence has now taken hold, buttressed by a willingness to use crude intimidation of others, whether in politics, the universities, or on the streets. The latest victim of this phenomenon is legislator Junius Ho Kwan-yiu. Out campaigning for a District Council seat in Tuen Mun, he was stabbed in the chest by a stranger. The crime was obviously pre-meditated, and the suspected offender will hopefully be charged with attempted murder. Shortly before the attack, Ho’s local office had been hit by fire bom


By China Daily
November 11, 2019

Politics

Hong Kong police shoot protester during morning clashes

The shooting is the second incident in as many months where live ammunition was used. Hong Kong police fired at least two live shots at protesters during early morning clashes on Monday (Nov 11), live broadcast footage showed. The incident happened after 7am in the Sai Wan Ho district east of Hong Kong’s main island, where protesters had heeded a call to block roads and build barricades. Footage showed a police officer drawing his sidearm as he tried to detain a masked man at a road junction that had been blocked by protesters. Another masked man then approached the officer and was apparently shot in the chest area, quickly falling to the ground, clutching his left side. Some reports said he was shot in the abdomen. His condition was not clear. Seconds later, two more live rounds were fired by the officer during a scuffle and another masked man went to the ground, although the footage wa


By The Straits Times
November 11, 2019

Politics

Internet freedom under threat in Asia

Government surveillance and deteriorating rights contribute to an imbalanced outlook in Asia. The story Freedom House’s latest report tells about global internet freedom is grim. Of the 65 countries assessed in the report—which looked at events across the globe between June 2018 and May 2019—33 countries experienced deteriorating internet liberty. It’s the ninth year in a row that web freedom has declined. Two major themes emerge in Freedom House’s 2019 findings in terms of the ways the internet is being used to undermine freedoms—first, as a tool to manipulate electoral processes, and second, as a tool to surveil, monitor and target populations. The report highlighted a handful of countries in the region where these trends are particularly noteworthy. Electoral manipulation On the


By Quinn Libson
November 11, 2019

Politics

Prayut indicates no entry into Thailand for Cambodian opposition politician Sam Rainsy

Cambodian government officials on Wednesday welcomed the position of Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha after he indicated that Sam Rainsy would not be allowed to return to Cambodia through Thailand. “According to our commitment to Asean, we will not interfere in each other’s internal affairs, and we will not allow any anti-government person to use Thailand for activism,” Prayut said at a press conference, the Bangkok Post reported on Wednesday. The Thai prime minister was referring to Thailand’s obligations under Asean to Cambodia, a fellow member of the 10-member regional bloc. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesperson Koy Kuong said Cambodian and Thai cooperation meant the countries would not allow each other’s territory to be used by any group to act against the interests of the other or any other nation. “This principle means that Sam Rainsy’s re


By Phnom Phen Post
November 7, 2019

Politics

Hong Kong lawmaker stabbed while campaigning

Pro-Beijing Hong Kong lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu was stabbed by a knife-wielding man while canvassing votes on Wednesday morning. Pro-establishment Hong Kong lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu was stabbed by a knife-wielding man while canvassing votes in Tuen Mun, New Territories, on Wednesday morning. The attack renewed a growing call for the government to take necessary and effective efforts to ensure a fair and just District Council election, slated for Nov 24. Ho, who was stabbed on the left side of his chest, was conscious when taken to Tuen Mun Hospital. Two more people from Ho’s campaign team suffered injuries to their hands and arms in the attack. Around 9 am, a man dressed in blue and holding a bouquet approached Ho as a supporter. He fished out a knife from his bag while pretending to look for his cell phone after he had asked Ho to pose for a photo with him. The assailant was subdued at th


By China Daily
November 7, 2019

Politics

Assembly introduces resolution to declare end to Korean War

The sides have technically been at war since the 1950s. Seventy-one members of the National Assembly on Tuesday rolled out a resolution calling for a formal end to the Korean War. Sponsored by Rep. Kim Kyung-hyup of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, the motion calls on the two Koreas, US and China to declare a formal end to the Korean War and to start discussing signing a peace treaty. “Now, beyond the denuclearization talks between US and North Korea, we need to see that the declaration will help to usher in peace on the Korean Peninsula,” said Kim, the head of the parliament’s Special Committee on Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation.


By The Korea Herald
November 6, 2019