Approximately 61 per cent of the 2.08 lakh voters exercised their franchise in the by-election to the Tiruchi West Assembly constituency on Thursday. It had recorded 75 per cent of polling in the Assembly elections. Counting of votes will take place on October 20.

Polling began on a sedate note. Sporadic spells of brisk voting were witnessed in most of the polling stations, especially in middle class localities such as Thillai Nagar.

Long queues were seen in localities dominated by minority communities and Dalits such as Andakondan, Periyamilaguparai and Edamalaipattipudur. Conspicuous by their absence were young voters, who had turned up in large numbers for the Assembly elections.

Though holiday had been declared, many employees of private firms did not turn up to vote, said an agent at a polling station at Crawford.

“There was no major issue in the by-election to kindle interest. Except the AIADMK and the DMK, political parties were largely concentrating on the local body elections rather than the by-election,” said another agent.