Two exit polls for Thailand’s first election since 2011 indicate that the Thaksin Shinawatra-linked Pheu Thai Party will win the most seats in the parliament’s House of Representatives, an apparent rebuke to the military-backed junta that has led the country since seizing power in 2014.
A survey by Thai Research Center Super Poll predicts that Pheu Thai will take a plurality of 163 seats in the 500-member House, with the junta-approved Phalang Pracharat party marching into second place at 96 seats, followed by the Democrat party with 77 seats. Other parties to win seats were the Bhumjaithai Party (yes, the one that wants to legalize marujana) with 59 seats, and the Future Forward party coming in at 40.
Meanwhile, another exit poll done by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University also named the Pheu Thai Party the presumptive winner, but with 173 seats. The poll differed on the runners-up, however, placing the Democrat party in second with 88 seats, and Phalang Pracharat with 53, followed by Bhumjaithai at 21. In the university poll, Future Forward came in sixth place with only two seats.
All 92,320 polling stations across Thailand closed at 5pm today after the country’s first general election since the junta seized power in 2014.
“The polls have closed,” said Election Commission secretary-general Jarungvith Phumma, with authorities anticipating an 80 percent voter turnout.
It is important to note that exit polls have been inaccurate in the past. Unofficial results are expected to be announced soon, though an official count isn’t expected to be released until May 8.
Additional Reporting by AFP
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