So, the opposition won an election it did not even participate in.
Preliminary figures from Sunday’s election suggest that Mr Thaksin’s Thai Rak Thai party won 57% of the poll with 16m votes, a drop of 3m from his previous election win in February 2005 but a comfortable majority over the 10m abstentions and spoilt ballot papers attributed to the opposition coalition.
However, the result was certain to fall foul of Thai electoral law, which requires that all 500 parliamentary seats be filled. The abstention of opposition parties meant that up to 100 seats in Bangkok and southern Thailand were certain to remain unfilled.
A new election will be held next year (why so long?) and the opposition has accepted the plan, which emerged after PM Thaksin met with the King.