Janapaksham candidate and incumbent MLA P C George will retain his home turf of Poonjar in Kottayam district, Manorama News-VMR exit poll has predicted.
George will poll 40.6 per cent of votes. LDF's Sebastian Kulathunkal will poll 22.8 per cent of votes while UDF candidate Tomy Kallani will gather 16.8 per cent of votes, according to the exit poll.
George has been winning from Poonjar continuously since 1982, except a defeat in 1991. George was the only independent MLA in the last assembly.
The battle for Poonjar, which used to be one-sided with George's influence over the electorate, assumed significance this time with the changes in the alliance equations.
The LDF allotted the seat to its new ally Kerala Congress (M) while the UDF fielded Congress candidate Tomy Kallani, making the contest a triangular fight.
George had won the 2016 assembly polls with an impressive 27,821 votes. However, his chances were seen as waning this time as the Muslim community, which had stood with him in the previous polls, distanced itself from George following some of his distasteful and controversial remarks.