Dr Pavin Chachavalpongpun is a Lead researcher, Institute for Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore.
One is the Democrat will win a landslide election (unlikely). This will satisfy both the old power and the military and more importantly it will silence the Red Shirt movement. This will be the first time his party gains full legitimacy. The question is whether the Democrat party will be able to win the hearts and minds of the north and Northeast residents.
Another scenario is that his party win more votes than the Puea Thai, but not an absolute majority, hence will only be able to form a coalition government. This will take Thailand back to when the Democrats ruled Thailand (2008-2011), with the question of legitimacy and whether the military will continue to manipulate Abhisit.
The other two scenarios are the Puea Thai winning an absolute majority and winning some votes and then forming a coalition government.
Abhisit faces a number of challenging tasks. First, his party will need to make a serious dialogue with the Red Shirt movement in order to bring Thailand back to normalcy. He can only do this by addressing the issue of political grievances and double standards. Second, he will need to rearrange his government’s relationship with the military. Abhisit will need to walk out of the military’s shadow and begin to exert his authority and leadership, especially in issues concerning the political situation and the Thai-Cambodian conflict.