How Factions Lost but Patronage Politics Persists: Lessons from Thailand’s 2023 General Elections


About the Hybrid Seminar

The stunning victory of the Move Forward Party (MFP) in Thailand’s 2023 general elections has sparked a potential paradigm shift in the country’s political landscape. The election campaigns have prominently centered around the need for reforming traditional institutions, reflecting a change in the prevailing social cleavages. Furthermore, a significant transformation has occurred in the electoral dynamics, with social media and digital platforms playing a crucial role in engaging and mobilising voters based on party labels and ideology. This shift has disrupted conventional practices such as vote-canvassing networks and money politics, which have traditionally played a decisive role in shaping election outcomes. As a result, long-standing factions and influential families, deeply entrenched in provinces like Rayong, Samut Prakan, and Chon Buri, have suffered substantial losses. Nevertheless, this transition away from old-style politics remains incomplete. In provinces like Kamphaeng Phet, Phetchabun, and Buriram, old factions and families continue to exert their dominance in constituency elections, adapting their strategies to suit the evolving political landscape. Join our hybrid seminar as we explore the nature and scope of this transformative shift and its potential implications for the future of Thai politics.

About the Speakers

Punchada Sirivunnabood is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mahidol University. She was a Visiting Fellow at the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore in 2021. She is a frequent contributor for the Diplomat and Fulcrum.

Napon Jatusripitak is a Visiting Fellow in the Thailand Studies Programme at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute and a Postdoctoral Fellow at Chulalongkorn University. He holds a PhD and MA in Political Science from Northwestern University, MA in Sociocultural Anthropology from Columbia University, and BA in Economics and Asian Studies from Cornell University.


This is a hybrid event which will be held at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS).

Attending the Event In-person at ISEAS

To join the event in-person at ISEAS, please register via the ISEAS mobile app, available on iOS and Android via the Apple or Play store. Search “ISEAS” to find or scan this QR code.

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Seating capacity is limited. Do register early to avoid disappointment.

Attending the Event Virtually via Webinar

To join the event virtually at the specified date and time using your internet devices, please register here to receive your unique login link for the webinar via the zoom platform.

If you have questions for the speakers, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speakers during the Q&A session.


Jul 06 2023


10:00 am - 11:30 am


ISEAS Seminar Room 2 / Webinar