Monday, July 4, 2011

And the winner is...

Yingluck Shinawatra and Pheu Thai. 

And the Thai people. Pheu Thai won the election tonight. By a lot. Most of the pundits predicted  Pheu Thai would get the most votes, but not necessarily a majority of votes. Thailand has a parliamentary system and the winner must score 50% +1 to form a government, anything less and the parties form a coalition. Most had expected PT to score 40-45% of the votes, the Democrats somewhat less but that the Democrats would be the ultimate winners because they would form the coalition first. 

Instead, PT scored a landslide. Exit polls showed them winning 320 or so of 500 seats in the parliament and the mood at Pheu Thai headquarters tonight was euphoric. The final tally did not match those lofty expectations. PT scored about 261 of 500 seats in parliament, still enough for an outright victory but a much narrower victory than first thought. Yingluck didn't waste the opportunity though. She still put together a coalition with several minor parties so the PT coalition still controls more than 300 seats. A pretty secure future assuming the courts don't reject any of the Pheu Thai members of parliament. 

There are more photos from the victory party and of Yingluck Shinawatra in my archive and available from ZUMA Press.