Kochi

UDF sees massive erosion in vote share

Winner all the way: UDF candidate T.J. Vinod celeberating victory along with Congress workers in Kochi on Thursday.

Winner all the way: UDF candidate T.J. Vinod celeberating victory along with Congress workers in Kochi on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: H_Vibhu

T.J. Vinod wins by a margin of 3,750 votes, the lowest for a UDF candidate in Ernakulam

Surviving heavy showers, inundation of the city on polling day, public ire, and the resultant low voter turnout, the United Democratic Front (UDF) managed to hold on to the Ernakulam constituency, but with a reduced margin.

UDF candidate and Deputy Mayor T.J. Vinod romped home in the bypoll by a margin of 3,750 votes, probably the lowest for a UDF candidate in the constituency, which has long been considered its bastion.

While Hibi Eden had recorded a margin of around 22,000 votes in 2016, he bettered his own performance in the Lok Sabha election by clinching a lead of over 30,000 in the Assembly segment.

While Mr. Vinod polled 37,891 votes, his nearest rival Manu Roy of the LDF came close by garnering 34,141 votes. Manu K.M., an Independent candidate and namesake of the LDF candidate, polled 2,572 votes.

The namesake was the 7th in the list of candidates followed by Adv. Manu Roy.

C.G. Rajagopal of the NDA failed to impress on the hustings as he ended up third, bagging 13,351 votes.

Mr. Vinod continued the winning streak right from the first round of counting. Though his margin dropped on a few occasions, Mr. Roy could never overtake him.

At the end of the first round of counting, Mr. Vinod had gained an upper hand of 710 votes over the LDF candidate. The lead sprang to 2,117 in the second round and 3,004 in the third. The fourth round of counting presented anxious moments to the UDF as Mr. Vinod’s margin dropped to 1,988 votes.

However, he improved during the fifth round by posting a margin of 3,258 votes.

The UDF camp sensed victory as Mr. Vinod’s lead crossed crossed 4,000 votes in the seventh round. Waving party flags and shouting slogans, Congress workers broke into celebrations outside the counting station at Maharaja’s College. Mr. Vinod’s margin dropped to 3,749 votes after the final round of counting.

The low voter turnout in UDF strongholds due to heavy flooding reflected in the reduced margin of the candidate, maintained UDF sources.

Though one Vinod A.P. was also in the list of candidates, he could not make an impact on the poll prospects of the UDF candidate as the former could garner only 206 votes.

As many as 1,307 voters chose None of the Above option.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 6:10:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/udf-sees-massive-erosion-in-vote-share/article29791485.ece

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