The scholarly debate on populism invites us to examine the binary divide between the constructed ‘people’ and ‘elites’ (e.g. Laclau, 2005; Mudde 2007; Jansen, 2011), and its political power which stems from the combination of anti-establishment appeals and the mobilisation of marginalised groups (Roberts, 2015). While analysts consistently perceive Thailand’s former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra as the foremost populist leader of Thai politics, the resounding electoral breakthough of the anti-junta Future Forward Party (FFP) in the 2019 election suggests the emergence of a new strand of populism. Why did a significant number of Thai voters support this new party while there are several alternatives (in particular the pro-Thaksin Pheu Thai Party) which also take anti-junta stances? To understand this bifurcation of Thai populism, we must look into the power relations that exist between citizens, elites and the Thai military government, as well as the strategies of mass mobilisation in the populist moment. Based on in-depth interviews with both political elites and voters, and observations of the electoral campaigns in both urban and rural areas of Thailand, this paper suggests that the emergence of bipolar populism should be attributed to the authoritarian turn of Thailand in the wake of the 2014 military coup, which has weakened political incorporation and excluded new groups from the political sphere. The paper further compares the electoral strategies and structures of the major Thai political parties, discussing the ways in which the bifurcated populist appeals were facilitated through party vehicles.