Manorama News-VMR pre-poll survey: LDF set to retain power, Pinarayi most suited to be CM

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) has a clear edge over the United Democratic Front (UDF) in winning the upcoming Assembly elections in Kerala, Manorama News-VMR pre-poll survey predicted.

Out of the 140 constituencies in Kerala, the survey predicted 82 seats for the LDF, 54 for UDF and 3 for the NDA while one seat is to be won by the independent candidate PC George.

Since some of the constituencies where a tightly fought one with only slight percentage differences, the Manorama News-VMR projections for the final election results are:

LDF- 77 – 82 seats (vote share: 43.65%)

UDF- 54 – 59 seats (vote share: 37.37%)

NDA- 0 – 3 seats (vote share: 16.46%)

OTH- 0 – 1 seats (vote share: 2.52%)

According to the survey, Pinarayi Vijayan was seen as most suited to be the Chief Minister of leading with 39%, followed by Oommen Chandy with 26%. They were followed by KK Shailaja (12%), Ramesh Chennithala (11%), K Surendran (5%) and V Muraleedharan (3%).

The fourth and final part of the survey looked into the 25 constituencies in Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram districts.

Key takeaways from the survey:

1. Kollam

• The LDF is likely to bag 7 out of 11 constituencies in Kollam district. UDF would be able to secure 4. In Kollam district, the UDF was not able win even one of the 11 Assembly seats during the 2016 Assembly elections.

Vote share predictions:

LDF- 40.78 %

UDF- 38.27%

NDA- 18.15%

• LDF to retain Karunagappally. UDF won only once here.

• UDF's Shibu Baby John to reclaim Chavara constituency. Chavara has a long political history. LDF has been trying to show a tough fight so far. Shibu Baby John has done a lot of work here ahead of the polls. Even in local body elections, UDF had a lead in Chavara.

• UDF to reclaim Kunathoor from LDF.

• LDF has edge over UDF in Kottarakara. R Resmi is UDF's strong candidate.

• UDF has an edge over LDF in Pathanapuram. UDF's Jyothikumar Chamakkala has been working in this constituency even before candidates were announced. KB Ganesh Kumar had been undefeated from this constituency so far.

• LDF has a slight edge in Punalur with 43 per cent vote share followed by UDF with 42.3 per cent vote share. LDF's K Raju had won with a big majority in 2016. UDF had won here only twice.

• LDF is in a comfortable position in Chadayamangalam. The survey predicts NDA to come in second position.

• UDF might reclaim Kundara constituency from LDF. LDF's Mercykutty Amma is seeking a fourth term while for UDF's P C Vishnunath it's a first-time fight in Kundara. But Kundara has always been pro-LDF. Vishnunath's candidature might help UDF to gain some votes, predicts the survey.

• A tight fight to be witnessed in Kollam with LDF having 38.8 per cent vote share and UDF with 36.6 per cent. LDF's Mukesh and UDF's Bindhu Krishna will show a close fight in Kollam. Deep sea fishing controversy might help UDF to gain some votes.

• Eravipuram to favour LDF with a vote share of 35.9 % followed by 33% for UDF. NDA's vote share has also come up. Eravipuram will witness a strong three-way contest.

• LDF is likely to secure Chathanur constituency. Survey shows second position for NDA and third position for UDF here like it was in the previous election.

2. Thiruvananthapuram

The LDF is likely to get 12 out of the 14 constituencies in Thiruvananthapuram district. The NDA may get two, leaving nothing for the UDF. In this district, the LDF had won 10 seats in 2016 and the UDF could win only 3. O Rajagopal had won the Nemom seat, becoming BJP's first MLA in Kerala.

• LDF to retain Varkala constituency. With this, so far according to the survey results LDF has crossed the magic number of 70 seats.

• A comfortable win predicted for LDF in Attingal.

• LDF to retain Chirayankeezhu. CPI's V Sasi is slated to win from the constituency.

• LDF to gain in Nedumangad. Though there won't be a close fight, UDF will try to put up a good fight here.

• Vamanapuram to favour LDF. UDF's Anadu Jayan will try his luck for the first time in Assembly polls.

• LDF's Kadakampally Surendran to retain Kazhakootam. Sobha Surendran of NDA to come in the second position. Sobha Surendran's candidature was not announced while the survey was taken. A big fight is expected here as UDF candidate Dr. SS Lal had already begun his work ahead of the polls. The infusion of new voters is less for UDF while there is a hike for LDF and NDA. Sobha has started campaigning blaming Kadakampally responsible for Sabarimala issues.

• Vattiyoorkavu to favour LDF's VK Prasanth. NDA's VV Rajesh, UDF's Veena S Nair and VK Prasanth will show a good fight but LDF has a good edge here.

• Tight fight to be witnessed in Thiruvananthapuram constituency with NDA leading with 32.5% vote share followed by 30.4% vote share for LDF. UDF to have only 25.2% vote share. NDA's Krishnakumar is predicted to win here. The retention of UDF candidate is low where a quarter of which is going towards LDF and the other to NDA.

• With a tight fight, Nemom will favour NDA's Kummanam Rajasekharan with 41.3% vote share followed by LDF's V Sivankutty with 41.2% vote share. The survey predicts UDF to push back to third position. But the survey was taken before UDF's K Muraleedharan's candidature was announced and this factor may have a significant impact.

• Only UDF has won after 1991 in Aruvikkara. Survey predicts Aruvikkara to favour LDF. G Stephen is LDF's candidate who will show a good fight against UDF's KS Sabarinathan, who is the sitting MLA.

• LDF to retain Parassala constituency.

• Survey predicts a comfortable win for LDF in Kattakada. UDF has been pushed to the third position bringing NDA to second position.

• A tight figth expected in Kovalam with LDF having a slight edge followed by UDF. 4.4% cote share for both fronts. Nadar vote is crucial in Kovalam.

• LDF has an edge over UDF in Neyyattinkara.

LDF has the edge in north Kerala

The first part of the survey on Sunday predicted that the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) is likely to win 27 out of the 32 constituencies in Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad and Kozhikode districts.

The survey predicted victory for the CPM-led LDF in all constituencies in Kozhikode and Wayanad districts. Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) is set to lose many of its sitting seats, the survey claimed.

On the other hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is likely to win the Manjeshwaram Assembly constituency in Kasaragod district, where its state chief K Surendran is contesting.

However, the survey predicts a tight contest in four constituencies – Thrikkaripur in Kasaragod, Irikkur in Kannur, Kozhikode North and Koduvally seats in Kozhikode district.

UDF sweep in Malappuram, Idukki

The second part of the series gave the UDF a clear edge by predicting a victory in 32 out of the 46 seats in Malappuram, Palakkad, Thrissur and Idukki districts.

The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) is likely to win 14 seats. Despite fielding popular candidates, the National Democratic Front (NDA) will be unable to distress the leading fronts in these districts.

The survey predicted that out of the sixteen assembly constituencies in Malappuram, the UDF had the edge in fifteen. Minister KT Jaleel's Thavanur is the only sure bet for LDF in this district.

The UDF is likely to bag 7 out of the 12 seats in Palakkad districts while LDF would be able to secure only 5. The Palakkad constituency is likely to see a heated three-way contest with just a seven per cent vote share separating the three parties. Despite fielding 'Metroman' E Sreedharan in Palakkad, BJP has come third here in the survey.

In Thrissur, the LDF will lose 4 of their sitting seats but will manage to win 8. The UDF could be able to win 5 constituencies.

The constituencies in the Idukki district are also giving surprising insights with all five of them favouring UDF.

LDF gains in Pathanamthitta, Kottayam

In the third of the four-part series survey results, the LDF is making significant gains in Pathanamthitta, Kottayam and Ernakulam, though it faces a stiff contest from the UDF in Alappuzha.

LDF is expected to win 22 seats followed by UDF in 14, across the four districts.

Out of the 14 assembly constituencies in Ernakulam, the UDF has an edge in 8 and LDF in 6.

LDF is likely to bag 5 out of 9 constituencies in Alappuzha. UDF would be able to secure 4 constituencies. In Kottayam, LDF is likely to win 6 out of the 9 constituencies, while the UDF may win 2 and one could be won by the independent PC George.

A neck and neck battle is expected in Perumbavoor, Angamaly, Paravoor, Pala, Ernakulam, Kunnathunadu, Kottayam, Poonjar, Alappuzha, Kuttanad, Adoor constituencies.

Biggest pre-poll survey

The four-part series of the biggest pre-poll survey in the state – predict probable winners of all the 140 seats in the assembly. The survey also reveals the likely state-level vote share of the fronts and the candidate most suited to be the CM apart from the winner in all constituencies.

The survey was conducted between February 15 and March 15 this year among 27,000 voters from 140 constituencies in the state. The first part was aired on Sunday. It will end on Wednesday.

The VMR co-founder Jai Mrug maintained that the survey was an adventurous task as it had to send its teams across all the constituencies in the time of COVID-19.

Kerala goes to polls on April 6 and counting is on May 2. The ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) led by the CPM, the Congress-led opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) are engaged in a multi-cornered contest.

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