A neck-and-neck race is expected in Kerala as all 140 constituencies are in the fray in today's Assembly Elections.
What's at stake?
For the ruling UDF, it is a battle for retaining power in the State. A success would also present an opportunity for the Congress to stage a comeback at the national level, after its humiliating loss in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
On the other hand, a drubbing in the polls for the LDF would spell disaster for it especially at a time when Left is trying hard for a comeback in West Bengal, once a stronghold of the Communists.
The two fronts, ruling the state alternately, will have to factor in the challenge posed by BJP which had put up a better showing in recent civic elections in the State.
8:30 pm: Kerala recorded 71.7 per cent polling. Highest being Kannur, lowest Pathanamthitta.
6.40 pm: Two Janata Dal (Secular) workers sustained injuries in an attack by alleged CPI(M) workers at Nallepilly under Chittur Assembly constituency. Police, however, said the incident had nothing to do with the election. Altercation over illegal sand mining had resulted in the incident.
6:10 pm: At the close of polling, the polling percentage in State is 72.57. Wayanad and Kannur recorded 75 plus and 10 districts 70 plus voting percentage.
6:05 pm: Peaceful polling concludes in Kerala; long queues in booths at many places
6.00 pm: Two CPI (M) workers arrested for casting bogus votes in Kannur. District Collector suspends polling officials
5:30 pm: Kerala recorded 70.35 per cent polling. Highest being Kannur, lowest Thiruvananthapuram.
5.15 pm: At 4.45 pm, 65.73 per cent voters have exercised their franchise in Kerala. The lowest of 60.34 per cent among 14 districts is in Thiruvananthapuram.
4.47 pm: Polling crosses 70 per in Vadakara segment, which is witnessing four-cornered contest. Here K.K. Rema is in fray.
4.16 pm: Heavy rush of voters to booths at Varkala and Chirayinkeezhu constituencies.
4.11 pm: With two hours to go, voting percentage reaches 62.43 in State and 60.34 in 14 segments in Thiruvananthapuram district.
Just cast vote at Malaparamba Women's Polytechnic 63.5 percent at Kozhikode North assembly segment. >#Kerala2016>pic.twitter.com/rp39dzVo82— biju govind (@bijugovind) >May 16, 2016
3.55 pm: BJP candidate at Koothuparamba C. Sadanandan alleges largescale bogus voting in many CPI(M) strongholds in the constituency.
Presence of BJP-BDJS alliance is turning Kerala bipolar politics to tri-polar. >#Kerala2016>@the_hindu— biju govind (@bijugovind) >May 16, 2016
3.23 pm: Rehabilitated Sri Lankan refugees cast their votes at Kambamala in Wayanad district amidst tight security.
3.20 pm: 57.54% polled till 3 pm
3.08 pm: PWD minister and UDF candidate from Kalamassery, Ibrahim Kunju, says Puthenvelikara bridge collapse won't impact poll outcome.
EVMs develop snag at several stations in Thrikkakara constituency. Issue being addressed, says AK Thomas, ARO. >#Kerala2016>@the_hindu— S Anandan (@S_Anandan76) >May 16, 2016
2.50 pm:Heavy turnout at booth number 80 of Angamaly constituency. Photo: Thulasi Kakkat
2:42 pm: Heavy turnout at Perumbavoor as over 60 per cent voters exercised their franchise by 2 p.m.
2:41 pm: 59 % votes polled in Kunnathunad constituency by 2 pm
2.40 pm: Heavy turnout at perumbavoor as over 60 per cent voters exercised their Democratic rights by 2 p.m.
2.35 pm: Malappuram District witnesses 43.59 per cent polling at 1 p.m. The biggest turnout was at Mankada: 51 %The lowest turnout was at Tirur: 37 %
2.00 pm: Aadhaar a valid identity proof? Some poll officials don't think so. Several booths in Ponnani constituency witnessed arguments between election officials and polling agents over the issue of accepting Aadhaar card for voter identification. >Read more
1.37 p.m.:Gafoor P. Lillis, LDF independent candidate in Tirur, bringing his mother to vote at AMLP School, Kaithavalappu, Tirur.
1.35 p.m.: Kanayannur Tahsildar visits polling booths 67 and 68 in Ernakulam following complaints of slow polling. The presiding officer has been asked to speed up the election process. Report given to the district collector on the action taken. Collector also seeks report on slow polling in booth 65 in Tripunithura constituency.
1.30 p.m.: Kerala sees almost 45 per cent polling at 1 p.m.
1.23 p.m.: Polling at Ernakulam at 1 p.m. is 41.10 per cent.
1.20 p.m.: Voters complain of long delay in casting votes at two booths in Attingal constituency. Both are women friendly polling booths.
1.19 p.m.: Polling officer in booth number 48 in St. Antony’s LP School in Perumbavur constituency, Ernakulam, falls sick. He has been replaced by a reserve official.
1.12 p.m.: CPI(M) veteran V.S. Achuthanandan claims that an LDF wave sweeping Kerala. He terms Oommen Chandy's claimn on returning to power as "utter foolishness."
12.51 p.m.: Ernakulam records 38 per cent polling at 12 noon.
12.50 p.m.: 31 per cent voting in Kollam district at 12.30 p.m. Chathannur records the highest polling in the distirct at 37.3 per cent.
12.45 p.m.: Polling crosses the 50 per cent mark at booth no. 32 at Govt HSS Vennala in Thrikkakara constituency.
12.40 p.m.: Polling percentages in Thiruvananthapuram at 12 noon
12.39 p.m.: 40 per cent votes polled in Kannur dist by 12.30 p.m.
12.38 p.m.: Polling in Eravipuram constituency crosses 33 per cent 12 noon.
12.35 p.m.:Long queues seen at the Manjampara LPS in Vattiyurkavu. Booth no. 36 at the polling station has the highest number of voters (1,888) in the Thiruvananthapuram district.
12.32 p.m.: 37 per cent voting in Kerala till 12 noon; Wayanad has the highest at 32 per cent and Thiruvananthapuram the lowest at 24.72 per cent.
12.28 p.m.: Around 30 per cent votes polled in most of Ernakulam Assembly constituency.
12.20 p.m..: Polling percentages in Ernakulam district at 11 a.m.:
12.10 p.m.: Former Maharashtra governor K. Sankaranarayanan exercised his franchise at Sekaripuram in Palakkad. Rains are a good omen for UDF, he said.
11:48 am: Polling process delayed for half an hour at Palamanna booth in Ottappalam as the polling officer failed to turn up because of death of his relative.
11:45 am: Surya, a transgender, who voted at Pattoor in Thiruvananthapuram. She is believed to be one of the two transgenders to cast their votes in Kerala.
11.30 a.m.:Voters arriving at Kumbichalkadavu in Amboori after a 6 km trek and a boat ride. They have to travel three more kilometres from here to reach the polling booth. A bridge across the river has been a long-standing demand of this tribal settlement with 1,200 voters. Photo: S.R. Praveen
11.27 a.m.: Good voter turnout at city booths of Kochi, over 29 per cent votes polled in some booths. Kasaragod - 26 per cent; Kannur - 28 per cent; Kozhikode - 28 per cent; Wayanad - 25 per cent; Palakkad - 27 per cent; Malappuram - 26 per cent.
11.17 a.m.: 21.38 voting percentage in Thiruvananthapuram district at 11 a.m.
11.10 a.m.: Voter turnout in Thiruvananthapuram district at 11 a.m.:
11.09 a.m.: Polling was disrupted fo 45 minutes at booth no. 24 at Kathirur govt VHSS in Thalassery constituency following complaint from UDF booth agent that his electoral roll was taken away during power failure. Booth agent lodged a complaint and polling resumed at 11 a.m. when the roll was recovered. Kathirur is a CPI(M) stronghold.
11.08 a.m.: Polling percentages: Kasaragod - 26 per cent; Kannur - 28 per cent; Kozhikode - 28 per cent; Wayanad - 25 per cent; Palakkad - 27 per cent; Malappuram - 26 per cent.
11.07 a.m.: EVM develops snag in Kanangat booth in kozhikode south. Voting starts half hour late after machine was replaced.
10.58 a.m.: More than 41 per cent voter turnout registered at the polling booth at Korunkotta Anganawadi in Ernakulam. The booth has the least number of voters in Ernakulam constituency.
10.57 a.m.: Kochi constituency at 10 a.m.: 15.87 per cent.
10.53 a.m.:Queue in front of an all woman operated polling station at the Kottarakara constituency in Kollam district.
10.50 a.m.: Polling percentages at 10 a.m.: Perumbavur - 13.72 per cent, Vypeen - 19.32 per cent, Ernakulam - 20.10 per cent.
10.47 a.m.: Three EVMs develop snag in Perumbavur constituency in Ernakulam. They are replaced and polling continues uninterrupted.
10.37 a.m.: The SMS system put in place by the election department in Ernakulam to collate hourly updates of voting percentage from all 14 constituencies in the district develops a snag. Official updates are being delayed with election authorities now manually ringing up and collecting the figures.
10.37 a.m.: A person was taken into custody from a booth in Shankaravilasam School at Patyam near Panur in Kannur for an alleged attempt to do bogus voting.
10.36 a.m.:Actor Mammootty arrives to cast his vote.
10.35 a.m.: Victims of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act (Sarfaesi Act) boycott polling in Ernakulam alleging failure of successive governments in addressing their problems. About 150 voters in Panambukad and Kakkanad among those who stayed away from voting.
10.30 a.m.: Polling percentages at 10 a.m.
10.27 a.m.: Voter turnout in Thiruvananthapuram district: Nemom - 13.70 per cent, Thiruvananthapuram - 12.30 per cent,Vattiyurkavu - 13.70 per cent.
10.26 a.m.: "Confident that people will give us one more opportunity," says Oommen Chandy.
10.25 a.m.: A person collapses and dies after casting his vote at Puttadi in Idukki.
10.21 a.m.:Policemen enjoy a short break at a polling station in Payyoli.
10.13 a.m.: CM Oommen Chandy, accompanied by his family arrives at Georgian Public School, Puthuppally to cast his vote.
10.12 a.m.: Polling exceeds 19 per cent in the polling booth at Thalukandam Adivasi colony.
10.11 a.m.: Pathanapuram constiruency which has three film stars in the fray, sees 16.2 per cent polling at 10 a.m.
10.10 a.m.: Anticipating heavy rains in the afternoon, there is good polling in the early hours in Kollam district, wherevoting has crossed 12 per cent at 9.45 a.m.
10.05 a.m.: 18.12 per cent polling recorded in Kerala till 10 a.m., and 14.12 per cent in Thiruvananthapuram district. Polling touches 19.25 % in Kozhikode, 18.30 per cent in Kannur, 17.45 per cent in Kasargod, 13.8 per cent in Ernakulam, 8.9 per cent in Kochi.
10 a.m.: CPI(M) alleges assault on three party workers at Cheruthazham HSS in Kalliassery constituency.
9.53 a.m.: KCBC has not asked devotees to vote for any particular party: Thrissur Archbishop Andrews Thazhath.
9.51 a.m.: Heavy rains have been lashing many parts Kottayam, Ernakulam, Alappuzha and Idukki districts since Sunday night.
9.49 a.m.: 12.36 per cent polling in Thrissur till 9.45 a.m.
9.48 a.m.: "We would like to get majority. But there is no overconfidence," says Minister C.N. Balakrishnan.
9.47 a.m.: In Thiruvananthapuram, BJP State president Kummanam Rajendran the polling pattern showed that the people of Kerala are craving for a change in the State. The people are registering their anger and anxiety about the misrule over the past 60 years by the Left and the Right, he said.
9.45 a.m.:Heavy polling at a booth at Chathinamkulam in Kollam constituency.
9.40 a.m.: 12.02 per cent polling in Palakkad district till 9.39 a.m.
9.39 a.m.: Tribals of remote Pooppara settlement deep inside the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve trek through difficult terrain for 18 km to cast their votes.
9.38 a.m.: There is tight CRPF security around polling booths in Attappady in the face of alleged Maoist threat.
9.35 a.m.:CPIM leader and Dharmadom LDF candidate Pinarayi Vijayan on his way to polling booth with his wife at Amala UPS at Pinarayi.
9.30 a.m.: Kozhikode hits 13 per cent.
9.24 a.m. : Voters' turnout in Thiruvananthapuram district after second hour of polling - 11.01 per cent
Polling percentage of constituencies:
9.20 a.m. : 4.9 per cent polling recorded in Kollam district as of 9 a.m.
9.17 a.m.: Kozhikode district records 11.11 per cent polling.
9.16 a.m.: BJP leader O. Rajagopal says that the enthusiasm of voters is reflective of Kerala's desire to reassert the true Kerala spirit. "The Congress leadership worried about the collapse of their empire of corruption. There is a massive people's upsurge in Kerala this time," he adds.
9.15 a.m.: A 70-year-old voter Kaithampoyil Kunahamed, who was in queue in front of a polling station collapsed to death at Perambra constituency in Kozhikode.
9.10 a.m.: Polling percentages for various districts at 9 a.m. -
9.02 a.m.: Kannur district records 10 per cent polling at 9 a.m. Initial reports put voter turnout in Ernakulam at 7.50 per cent in the first two hours; 5.23 per cent polling in Thrissur.
9 a.m.:Two aged nuns arrive to cast votes, braving heavy rains at the polling booth at St. Mary's School on Market Road in Ernakulam. Photo:H.Vibhu.
8.40 a.m.: "It is my duty as the first citizen of the state to set an example by casting my vote," says Mr. Sathasivam. The Governor has created history by casting his vote in Assembly elections. He is the first Governor to do so
8.38 a.m.: Polling in north Kerala crosses 10 per cent.
8.34 a.m.:Kerala Governor P. Sathasivam waits in line to cast his vote.
8.26 a.m.: K.K. Rema, RMP candidate and wife of slain leader T.P. Chandrasekharan says that there will be an upset victory at Vadakara, where she is in the fray.
8.25 a.m.:Senior Congress leader A.K. Antony after casting his vote at the Jagathy LP School, Thiruvananthapuram, flanked by Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar and M.M. Hassan, both candidates in the Assembly polls.
8.24 a.m.: Muslim League leader P.K. Kunhalikutty says that the Congress-led UDF will come to power, and that no negative factors against their government.
8.23 a.m.: CPI-M leader Pinarayi Vijayan says that Kerala will vote to ensure that there will be no more victims like the landless Dalit woman raped and murdered at Perumbavoor.
8.22 a.m.: There is a drizzle in interior parts of Kozhikode. 15 houses were damaged in a gale in Kuttiyadi on Sunday.
8.19 a.m.: EVMs develop snags in two polling booths in Kothamangalam constituency in Ernakulam. They were replaced and polling has resumed.
8.18 a.m.: A.K. Antony says the UDF will create history by returning to power. The senior Congress leader is confident that the UDF will win more seats than in the 2011 elections and the BJP will not get any seats.
8.15 a.m.:Archbishop Soosa Pakiam waits to cast his vote at a booth in Jawahar Nagar, Thiruvananthapuram.
8.10 a.m.: Senior Congress leader A.K. Antony exercises his franchise in a polling booth in Thiruvananthapuram.
8.05 a.m.: North Kerala sees heavy polling, at almost 7 per cent at 8 a.m.
8 a.m.: Kerala records 4.5 per cent voting at 8 a.m.
7.55 a.m.: Parts of Kochi city experience heavy rains.
7.40 a.m. : PM Modi tweets: "Urging all voters in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry to vote in record numbers today and be a part of this festival of democracy."
7.30 a.m.: Polling yet to pick up in the coastal regions.
7.17 a.m.: About 1900 polling stations in Kozhikode; 65 model pollling stations ; 15 women only booths ; 120 candidates in fray in 13 Assembly constituencies.
7.15 a.m.: Damp start to the election day in Ernakulam leaving political parties and candidates concerned about voter turnout
7.12 a.m.: ADGP north Kerala Nitin Argawal, who is in charge of law and order in 7 out of 14 districts in Kerala, says police gear up to thwart Maoists threat.
7.06 a.m.: BJP's star campaigner Suresh Gopi arrives in Sasthamangalam booth to cast his vote.
Ernakulam Collector speaks on poll arrangements