Too close to call! Parties draw up special plan for constituencies with narrow victory margins

Too close to call! Parties draw up special plan for constituencies with narrow victory margins
Representational Image - flags of political parties in Kerala.

Thiruvananthapuram: Ahead of the Legislative Assembly Election in Kerala, the major political combines are devising a special action plan for constituencies where the victory margin was less than 5,000 votes in the previous polls. Party leaders are exercising caution over the selection of candidates and are even trying to enrol maximum voters in these constituencies.

The lowest victory margin in the 2016 state poll was that of Anil Akkara of the Congress in the Wadakkanchery constituency. He had edged CPM's Mary Thomas by a margin of 43 votes. BJP's K Surendran lost to Muslim League's P B Abdul Razzak by a margin of 89 votes in Manjeshwaram.

From candidate selection to campaign, several factors will prove to be decisive in these constituencies.

In the 2016 Assembly Election the Left Democratic Front (LDF) had dislodged the United Democratic Front (UDF) from power.

Margin of less than 1,000 votes

Apart from Wadakkanchery and Manjeshwaram, the victory margin was below 1,000 votes in four other constituencies -- Peermedu, Koduvally, Perinthalmanna and Kattakada.

Both the LDF and the UDF shared these 6 seats which handed victory by less than 1,000 votes. The LDF won Peermedu, Koduvally and Kattakada, whereas the UDF was lucky to win from Perinthalmanna, Manjeshwaram and Wadakkanchery.

1,000 to 2,000 votes gap

The LDF candidates meanwhile emerged victorious in 5 out of 8 seats where the winner had a majority of 1,000 to 2,000 votes. These are Kochi, Udumbanchola, Kannur, Mananthavadi and Karunagapally. The MLAs elected from here include three of the CPM and one each of the CPI and Congress-S.

The three winners from the UDF includes one of the Kerala Congress (Mani) candidate, the now-deceased CF Thomas, from the Changanacherry constituency. In the last polls his party was part of the UDF. Kuttiyadi and Mankad are the other two seats that favoured the UDF in a close contest. Both these victors were of the Muslim League.

Majority between 2,000-3,000 votes

The LDF and the UDF also won three seats each with winning margins between 2,000 and 3,000 votes. The LDF eked out these narrow wins in Varkala, Irinjalakuda and Pala (2019 bypoll). The winner from Pala, Mani C Kappan, joined the UDF lately. Both Varkala and Irinjalakuda stood by CPM candidates.

For the UDF the winning seats in this category were Kunnathunadu, Kovalam and Azhikode. Congress candidates won from the first two and the other was bagged by the Muslim League.

3,000- 4,000 majority

The results from four assembly seats showed the winner had a margin of between 3,000 and 4,000 votes. The LDF won three (Thiruvambady, Nedumangad and Uduma) and the UDF one (Kanjirapally).

4,000-5,000 margin

The LDF won from all the five constituencies where the victorious MLA was handed a final lead of 4,000 to 5,000 votes. These seats are Perambra, Thrippunithura, Nadapuram, Kuttanad and Thanur. In the first two CPM candidates won and in Thanur it had backed an independent.

Nadapuram went to CPI's kitty and the NCP candidate bagged Kuttanad.

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