Voter turnout falls below expectations

Final voting figures Thrikkakara is 68.75%

May 31, 2022 08:19 pm | Updated 08:19 pm IST

Notwithstanding what appeared to be a blistering start to voting with long queues in front of most of the polling booths in the initial hours, the final voting figures of 68.75% in the byelection to the Thrikkakara Assembly constituency held on Tuesday eventually fell below last year’s Assembly election voter turnout of 70.39%.

In fact, it was the lowest voter turnout since the constituency was formed in 2011. In 2011, the polling was 73.76% followed by 74.71%, which remains the highest ever turnout till day.

Out of the total electorate of 1,96,805, just 1,35,294 exercised their franchise. Polling was held across 239 polling stations.

With the rain staying away, the voter turnout touched 8.15% at the end of the first hour raising the spectre of a potential record turnout. It rose to 15.97% at 9 a.m. and then to 23.75% an hour after. A steady flow of voters continued as polling reached 31.54% at 11 a.m. and 39.34% at 12 noon.

However, polling lost a bit of momentum in the afternoon probably owing to the hot and humid conditions. The average hourly turnout of voters fell below the 7% mark for the first time as the polling figures crept to 45.77% at 1 p.m.

In the next hour, less than 6% voters turned out at the polling booths taking the voting to 51.47% at 2 p.m. The same trend continued in the next hour when polling reached 57.17%. It further dipped slightly in the next couple of hours to touch 66,78% by 5 p.m.

The low voter turnout in Kochi Corporation areas within the constituency seems to have dragged down the voting percentage. While in most booths in the Corporation areas polled less than 60%, it even fell below 50% in some of the booths.

Voting percentage among male voters consistently exceeded that of their female counterparts through the day, though the latter held the upper hand in terms of absolute numbers. But that was unsurprising considering that female voters exceeded their male counterparts by 1,01,530 to 95,274. While 70.48% male voters cast their votes, the corresponding figure for female voters stood at 67.13%.

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