Exit polls back LDF in close election

Senior Congress leader A.K. Antony and wife Elizabeth after voting in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.  

Kerala voted with its usual gusto in the Assembly elections on Monday and exit polls appeared to favour the Opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF), but there is still no clear pointer to the way political winds are blowing in the State.

At 74 per cent, the preliminary polling figure for the entire State is on the lower side by Kerala standards and there is every possibility of the figure going up to the vicinity of the 2011 figure of 75.12 per cent. The 2011 elections were one of the most closely contested ones in the State’s recent history. The polling figures available as of now suggest that the battle might have been close this time as well, something that looked impossible given the results of four of the six exit polls released late on Monday evening. The four polls have shown the Opposition alliance to be ahead, with one of them predicting between a massive 88 to 101 seats for the LDF. Others appeared to hold a more moderate view, giving the LDF between 71 and 78 seats. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the exit polls say, would win two to eight seats.

The Election Commission has not released the polling percentage beyond 6 p.m. when long queues were in place in many constituencies, particularly in north Kerala. Going by the EC’s initial figures, the district that has notched up the highest polling percentage is Kannur (78.49). This figure is likely to go beyond 80 when the final vote tally is released. The lowest polling percentage has been recorded in Pathanamthitta (61.95). The polling percentages for the other districts were as follows: Kasaragod 71.8; Wayanad 70.42; Kozhikode 73.76; Malappuram 68.51; Palakkad 76.5; Thrissur 72.52; Ernakulam 72.33; Idukki 72.18; Kottayam 71.98; Alappuzha 74.54; Kollam 69.59; and Thiruvananthapuram 67.83.

Political reactions

The divergent predictions of the pollsters notwithstanding, leaders of the three major political alliances have exuded confidence about their chances in the polls. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told The Hindu over phone from Kottayam that he was quite confident that the people would give the UDF a repeat mandate. He said the BJP would not open its account in Kerala.

Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan saw a Left wave across the State.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 6:21:24 AM |

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