A proposal to hold the elections on 14 November 2010 had earlier been made, but the date was pushed back and as of January 2011, it had not been rescheduled. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva's announcement to hold this election came following months of unrest by United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD) or "Red Shirt" supporters of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra. The opposition expressed qualified support for the plan, but wanted parliament to be dissolved.
 BackgroundAfter the Thai general election, 2007, the People’s Power Party won a majority of seats in the parliament and became the leading party to set up the new government. Samak Sundaravej, party leader, became the 25th Prime Minister of Thailand. Although he never admitted as much, it was widely known that the People’s Power Party was the nominee party of the late Thai Rak Thai Party and Samak was the nominee of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. This election victory led to a series of political demonstrations by the Peoples Alliance for Democracy, a nationalist protestor group, also known as the "Yellow Shirts," that opposes former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
On December 2, 2008, the People’s Power Party was dissolved by the Constitutional Court for electoral fraud committed by Yongyuth Tiyapairat, its deputy leader. After the party's dissolution, all the members of the parliament who represented the party needed to transfer themselves to a new party. The majority transferred themselves to the newly founded Pheu Thai Party, another party linked with Thaksin. Some PPP party leaders were banned from politics for five years as penalty, while others transferred to other existing parties .
The parliament needed to vote for the new prime minister to set up the new cabinet. At this time, parties that had formed a coalition government with the People’s Power Party changed their decisions. These same parties, which had tried supporting Samak Sundaravej and Somchai Wongsawat from the People Power Party, realized that the country would keep repeating the same political unrest if they kept supporting a party with ties to Thaksin again, decided to switch support to the Democrat Party, the second-most numerous party in the parliament to set up the new government instead. This made Abhisit Vejjajiva, the Democrat Party leader, the new prime minister of Thailand.
Thaksin’s supporters, who called themselves “Red Shirts”, claimed that the military had used force to bring Abhisit into office. This created unrest in rural areas of Thailand, where many people believed that Abhisit and the military had taken democracy from them. Later, these people joined up with Red Shirt demonstrations.
This led to series of demonstrations by Red Shirt protestors. On March 14, 2010, protesters from the rural base of the UDD set up camps in Bangkok's Ratchaprasong commercial district. As the camps grew, commerce in Bangkok ground to a halt. On April 10, the government attempted to disperse the protesters, leading to violent resistance. Twenty-four people were killed and more than 800 injured in the incident. Several additional minor confrontations occurred in April, bringing the total death toll to 27. Multiple attempts at compromise between Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and the anti-government protesters failed.
Following these two months of unrest, Abhisit proposed November elections in exchange for an end to the protests. On May 4, UDD leaders agreed to end their occupation of Bangkok's thoroughfares that had caused millions in lost revenue. Reports said Shinawatra had induced the compromise when he called on the Red Shirts to seek reconciliation. However, Abhisit said in his reconciliation proposal that he would proceed with the plan for election even if the anti-government protesters rejected his terms, without a set date for the election. On the day of the announcement, the SET rose more than 4%. Although the Red Shirts accepted the proposal, they did not immediately end their occupation of Bangkok. Some protesters claimed that only the Election Commission has the authority to set a date for elections. Others said Abhisit must set a date to dissolve parliament before they would disperse. May 5 was Coronation Day, a national holiday, so little movement occurred.
On May 6, an announcement was made that parliament would be dissolved by September should the protestors cease their demand for the snap polls and disperse from their holdout. Thai Yellow Shirts, who were the crux of the 2008 demonstrations, came out and demanded the prime minister's resignation for capitulating to Red Shirt whims. They pledged to oppose attempts to amend the constitution and called for the cancellation of the proposed election date.
After the opposition refused to disband their gathering, the PM withdrew his offer on 13 May 2010. However, Finance Minister, Korn Chatikavanij, said election were possible this year as he expressed confidence in the state of Thailand during an economic conference in Japan where he sought to "explain the truth" about the political crisis. To add to the uncertainty he said "We need to make sure that emotions have cooled to the extent that candidates from all parties can feel safe in campaigning anywhere in the country. Frankly we would not feel safe doing that today."
Amendments to the electoral law which the governing Democrat Party considered necessary before calling early elections were passed on 11 February 2011. It was reaffirmed on 17 February 2011 that parliament would be dissolved by June. On 11 March 2011, it was announced that parliament would be dissolved by the first week of May 2011.
 Election datePreviously a proposal was made to hold the election on 14 November 2010, however this was pushed back following a failure to come to agreement during the crisis.
On 9 May, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva announced that he would dissolve the lower house of parliament in order to have the election on 3 July and that King Bhumibol Adulyadej approved the dissolution decree the same day. This motion also follows a court ruling the same day that three recently approved electoral laws[which?] are constitutional; if the dissolution of parliament had occurred without the ruling there would have been a possibility of challenging the election date.
| ||This article is missing citations or needs footnotes. Please help add inline citations to guard against copyright violations and factual inaccuracies. (May 2011)|
- Democrat Party (Phak Prachatipat) led by Abhisit Vejjajiva (125 candidates)
- Pheu Thai Party (PTP) led by Yingluck Shinawatra (125 candidates)
- Social Action Party (125 candidates)
- Bhumjaithai Party (BJT) led by Chaovarat Chanweerakul (125 candidates)*
- Chartthaipattana Party (CTP) led by Chumphol Silapaarcha (125 candidates)*
- Rak Santi Party led by Purachai Piamsomboon (64 candidates)
- Matubhum Party led by Sonthi Boonyaratkalin (40 candidates)
- Tankhun Pandin (32 candidates)
- Farmers Network of Thailand (30 candidates)
- Prachatham (25 candidates)
- New Politics Party led by Somsak Kosaisuuk (24 candidates)
- Phalang Chon (18 candidates)
- Bamrungmuang (14 candidates)
- Damrongthai (13 candidates)
- Prachakorn Thai (13 candidates)
- Rak Prathet Thai Party led by Chuwit Kamolvisit (11 candidates)
- Thai Pen Thai (10 candidates)
- Chart Samakkee (9 candidates)
- Muanchon (8 candidates)
- Seri Niyom (8 candidates)
- Prachathippataimai (6 candidates)
- Thai Pensuk (5 candidates)
- Palang Sangkhom Thai (5 candidates)
- Cheewit Thee Dee Kwa (4 candidates)
- Puea Prachachon Thai (4 candidates)
- Thai Piang Phor (3 candidates)
- Kasikornthai (2 candidates)
- Puea Fa Din (1 candidate)
- Puea Pandin Party
- Rum Chart Pattana Party
- Power of Sport Party
- Pracharaj Party
- Pracha Santi Party