UDF likely to retain Thiruvananthapuram, but Suresh Gopi could push LDF to third in Thrissur

L-R: Rahul Gandhi, Rajmohan Unnithan, K Muraleedharan, N K Premachandran and Shashi Tharoor.

The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) could retain the Lok Sabha constituencies of Thiruvananthapuram, Kasaragod, Wayanad, Thrissur and Kollam while the contest in Kannur and Attingal is expected to be neck-and-neck with the CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF), predicts a Manorma News-VMR pre-poll survey.

The UDF had a resounding success in the previous General Elections when it won 19 seats while CPM's A M Ariff representing Alappuzha was LDF's lone success story in 2019.

The complete picture of the latest pre-poll survey will be out in the coming days. But the first phase, covering seven constituencies that was released on Wednesday, appears to favour the UDF. A smooth sailing is predicted for Congress' star candidate Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad. Even though Gandhi could see a dip in vote share of about 2.14 per cent, he is expected to win 62.5 per cent of votes.

But the highlight of the first phase of the Manorama News-VMR pre-poll survey is that two of BJP's star candidates - Suresh Gopi in Thrissur and Rajeev Chandrasekhar in Thiruvananthapuram - are expected to have a slight edge over LDF candidates, V S Sunilkumar and Panniyan Raveendran respectively.

The survey predicts a 40.07 per cent vote share for Tharoor, who has held on to the Thiruvananthapuram constituency since 2009. Chandrasekhar is predicted to get 29.88% of the vote share while CPI leader Raveendran's vote share is predicted at 28.37%.

In Thrissur, UDF's K Muraleedharan is predicted to get 36.52 per cent of votes while the difference in vote share of Gopi (30.59%) and Sunikumar (30.53%) appears marginal.

State Congress chief and sitting MP K Sudhakaran is predicted to face a tough contest from LDF's M V Jayarajan in Kannur. Sudhakaran could lose 7.15% of the vote share from his 2019 tally of 50.27% which would make the battle intense as Jayarajan is expected to get 43% of votes. The NDA could gain in Kannur as its candidate C Raghunath, a former Congress leader, is expected to increase the vote share to 11.61%.

Another close battle between the UDF and LDF is expected in Attingal where sitting MP Adoor Prakash and Left leader V Joy are likely to get 35% of vote share making it a close fight. The survey also predicts continuity for UDF's Rajmohan Unnithan and N K Premachandran in Kasaragod and Kollam respectively.

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