In 2003, local teams started to use the TRT (Thai Rak Thai) party label, though the party had the policy of not running in local elections. This policy was lifted by party leader Thaksin in December 2003, so the PAO elections in early 2004 were the first to have widespread use of party labels. Also, the interest in these elections grew a lot, since the budget and tasks of the PAO was increased a lot - for example local road construction and other infrastructure development was transferred to the authority of the PAOs.
Though the party label was used in these elections, in several provinces it had more than one group using the label of the same party, the major parties did not hav a team in every province, and teams without party affiliation were also running. The results were
- Thai Rak Thai: 47 provinces
- Democratic Party: 13 provinces
- Chat Thai: 5 provinces
- Chat Phatthana: 2 provinces
- Independent: 7 provinces