Marginal increase of 0.33 percentage point over the last polls

Despite the intense campaign by political parties and mobilisation of young voters for the 16th Lok Sabha elections, the turnout at the polling stations in the 20 constituencies across the State failed to register a significant increase on Thursday.

As much as 73.7 per cent of the voters across the State braved the scorching summer heat and the heavy rain that lashed parts of the State after noon to exercise their franchise by 6 p.m., according to the figures in a provisional update issued by the Election Commission after polling came to a close. This represents an increase of just 0.33 percentage point over the polling percentage in the last Lok Sabha elections in 2009 when the turnout was 73.37 per cent.

As many as 40 per cent votes were polled by 12 noon.

The highest voter turnout of 81.4 per cent was recorded in the Vadakara constituency, while Pathanamthitta registered the lowest percentage of 65.9 per cent, according to the website of the Chief Electoral Officer, Kerala. The polling was higher in the constituencies in North Kerala, namely Vadakara, Kannur, Kozhikode, and Kasaragod.

The polling percentage is likely to go up marginally when the final figures are published by the Election Commission.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor cast their votes in the State capital, while Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan and Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi voted in Alappuzha.

While Mr. Antony was certain that the Congress and its allies would secure record number of seats in the State, CPI(M) State unit secretary Pinarayi Vijayan had no doubt that the Congress would draw a blank in the State. Candidates of all the major parties appeared confident about their win.

According to the Election Commission, the polling percentage in the constituencies was as follows (the 2009 turnout in brackets): Kasaragod: 78 per cent (76.15 per cent), Kannur: 80.8 (80.95), Vadakara: 81 (80.4), Wayanad: 73.3 (74.71), Kozhikode: 79.6 (75.65), Malappuram: 71.2 (76.67), Ponnani: 73.9 (73.51), Palakkad: 75.2 (73.51), Alathur: 76.4 (75.25), Thrissur: 72 (69.43), Chalakudy: 76.9 (73.63), Ernakulam: 73.2 (72.78), Idukki: 70.7 (73.89), Kottayam: 71.4 (73.69), Alappuzha: 78.8 (79.37), Mavelikara: 71.2 (70.56), Pathanamthitta: 65.9 (65.86), Kollam: 71.9 (67.78), Attingal: 68.6 (66.25), and Thiruvananthapuram: 68.6 (65.74).

The Taliparamba Assembly segment in Kannur constituency registered the highest turnout of 84.7 per cent, while Thiruvalla in Pathanamthitta constituency recorded the lowest of 62.3 per cent. No major incident of violence was reported from anywhere in the State.