The Left Democratic Front in Kerala created history by winning the second consecutive assembly election.
Onmanorama breaks down the results to get a better understanding of the popular dynamics at play in each of the fourteen districts.
The ruling alliance set a record in the Thiruvananthapuram district by sweeping all but one assembly constituency. The opposition United Democratic Front saw its tally reduced from three in 2016 to just one – Kovalam. The most shocking failure was that of K S Sabarinathan, who made his poll debut in the 2016 byelection with a lead of 21,314 votes. The incumbent legislator lost to CPM candidate G Stephen.
In the Thiruvananthapuram assembly constituency, Congress veteran V S Sivakumar lost to Antony Raju, who became the sole legislator of the Janadhipathya Kerala Congress, an LDF constituent. The BJP lost its only seat in the assembly when its candidate Kummanam Rajasekharan trailed behind CPM leader V Sivan Kutty. Congress leader K Muraleedharan finished third.
CPM candidate O S Ambika in Attingal takes the cake for the largest victory margin in the district. RSP’s A Sreedharan finished third. In Kazhakkoottam, state minister Kadakampally Surendran increased his own victory margin from five years ago. BJP’s Shobha Surendran finished second and Congress’s Dr S S Lal third.
CPM’s V K Prashanth built on his own lead in Vattiyoorkavu to trump BJP’s V V Rajesh, while Congress candidate Veena S Nair was relegated to the third position. Deputy speaker V Sasi held Chirayinkeezhu for the CPI for the third straight term.
The Kollam district remained a communist stronghold even though two Congress candidates won this time after a gap of two decades. The CPM received a setback in Kundara when J Mercykutty Amma became the only state minister to lose an election. AICC secretary P C Vishnunath’s impressive victory became one of the talking points as results came pouring down on Sunday. KPCC general secretary C R Mahesh wrested Karunagappally from CPI’s R Ramachandran.
Though the LDF could not win all 11 seats in the district as in 2016, it retained its tally of nine as in 2011. Though CPM state secretariat member K N Balagopal won Kottarakkara by an impressive margin, it seems the party vote bank has been breached. The LDF could not retain its lead in the constituencies it won this time.
Congress ally Revolutionary Socialist Party lost all three seats it contested. Former ministers Shibu Baby John lost in Chavara and Babu Divakaran in Eravipuram. The party did not have any representatives in the previous assembly either.
District Congress Committee president Bindu Krishna, KPCC general secretaries Jyothikumar Chamakkala (Pathanapuram) and M M Naseer (Chadayamangalam) lost. Kovoor Kunjumon of the RSP-Leninist was elected to represent Kunnathur for the fifth term. So was Kerala Congress – B leader K B Ganesh Kumar in Pathanapuram.
The LDF won all five seats in the Pathanamthitta district, brushing aside a high-decibel campaign by the opposition parties which tried to stoke conservative sentiments related to women’s entry into the Sabarimala shrine. BJP state president K Surendran was relegated to the third position in Konni. LDF legislator K U Janeesh Kumar retained the constituency though his vote difference with Robin Peter decreased.
The UDF, however, put up a brave fight in Ranni and Adoor. Chittayam Gopakumar retained Adoor but with a smaller margin. Pramod Narayanan won Ranni by a slender margin in the last round though the LDF has been winning the seat for 25 years.
Veena George in Aranmula and Mathew T Thomas in Tiruvalla retained their seats with impressive victory margins. George has the highest lead in the district, followed by Thomas.
The LDF stormed the UDF bastion of Kottayam. Though the Kerala Congress (M) did well as a new constituent of the LDF, party chairman Jose K Mani lost his family fiefdom in Pala. His former party colleague P C George, the maverick politician who challenged all dominant alliances to retain his constituency in Poonjar in 2016, lost too.
The LDF won five seats in the district while the UDF was reduced to four. Veteran UDF leaders such as Oommen Chandy, Tiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan and Mons Joseph won by smaller margins. Both KPCC vice president Joseph Vazhakkan and former Union minister Alphons Kannanthanam trained behind the LDF candidate in Kanjirappally.
Mani C Kappen emerged as the knight in the shining armour when he defeated Jose K Mani in Pala. The Kerala Congress (M), however, emerged as the single largest party in the district by winning Poonjar, Changanassery and Kanjirappally segments. The CPM and the CPI won in one seat each.
The Congress won two seats while allies Kerala Congress and NCK won one each.
The LDF won four out of five in the high ranges of the Idukki district. Only P J Joseph in Thodupuzha could withstand the Leftward swing. Minister M M Mani won his second term as a legislator with the highest victory margin in the district. Joseph, who held the record for the highest margin in 2016, saw his margin cut to half this time.
Kerala Congress (M)’s Roshy Augustine emerged victorious in the Idukki constituency after a prestigious fight with the rival Kerala Congress faction. This would be Augustine’s fifth term in the assembly. He beat Francis George, who was the LDF candidate in 2016.
A Raja in Devikulam and Vazhoor Soman in Peermade emerged victorious in their electoral debut, taking the LDF tally to four. The CPM won two, while the CPI and the Kerala Congress (M) won one each. The Congress lost all three seats it contested in the district.
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance remained a marginal force in the district.
The Ernakulam district stood by the UDF even amid a clear wave in favour of the ruling front. The UDF won nine and the LDF five, just like in 2016. Though Twenty20 failed to win any seat, the corporate-backed outlier ended up helping the LDF win four seats.
The UDF could find relief in the fact that it had rebounded from the local body elections when the LDF gained big.
Tripunithura became a focus constituency when CPM’s young legislator M Swaraj and Congress leader K Babu fought each other until the last round of counting. Babu won back his long-time constituency by a margin of just 992 votes.
The UDF wrested Moovattupuzha from the LDF but lost Kunnathunad and Kalamassery. CPM state secretariat member P Rajeev defeated Muslim League candidate V E Abdul Gafoor, who had hoped to inherit the legacy of his father V K Ebrahim Kunju, a former public works minister who had to step aside after being charged with corruption charges related to the Palarivattom flyover construction.
The Muslim League in the UDF and the CPI in the LDF drew a blank in the district. Kerala Congress (Jacob) was the only Congress ally to win a seat – in Piravom. LDF constituents Kerala Congress (M) lost the two seats it contested, while Janata Dal (S) lost one.
The LDF won eight of the nine seats in the district, justifying the CPM leadership’s estimate that the front would repeat its performance of 2016. The only victory of the UDF came in Haripad, the constituency of opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala.
The CPM won six seats, while the CPI and the NCP added one each to the tally. The LDF won back Aroor, which the Congress had wrested in a byelection. Congress legislator Shanimol Usman lost to Daleema Jojo. In Kayamkulam, Congress challenger Aritha Babu could not unseat U Prathibha.
Though ministers G Sudhakaran, T M Thomas Isaac and P Thilothaman did not contest elections, their constituencies were guarded by party colleagues H Salam in Ambalappuzha, P P Chitharanjan in Alappuzha and P Prasad in Cherthala.
The LDF retained its upper hand in the Thrissur district, by winning 12 of the 13 assembly segments. If the CPM-alliance lost Wadakkancherry in 2016, it lost Chalakkudy this time. UDF candidate T U Sajeesh Kumar Joseph. The front’s hopes were dashed in Guruvayur, Thrissur and Irinjalakkuda.
The BJP had three focus seats in the district but ended up losing all. Actor-turned-politician lost to CPI leader P Balachandran in Thrissur assembly segment. The LDF wiggled out Wadakkancherry from Congress legislator Anil Akkara.
Minister A C Moideen won Kunnamkulam. R Bindu, the wife of CPM leader and LDF convener A Vijayaraghavan, won Irinjalakkuda. Former speaker K Radhakrishnan of the CPM won Chelakkara with the greatest margin in the district.
LDF’s N K Akbar defeated K N A Khader who was chosen as the UDF candidate to storm the Guruvayur assembly constituency. Congress’ emerging leader Shobha Subin lost to E T Tyson in Kaypamangalam.
The Palakkad assembly constituency was the centre of attraction throughout the counting when Congress sitting legislator Shafi Parambil defeated BJP candidate E Sreedharan in the last lap. Another Congress MLA, V T Balram, lost out to CPM’s M B Rajesh in Trithala by a margin of more than 3,000 votes.
In the final tally, the LDF increased its score to 10 from nine in 2016. LDF incumbents were replaced in P K Sasi, P Unni and minister A K Balan in Ottappalam, Shornur and Tarur constituencies, yet their party colleagues retained seats. K Premkumar won Ottappalam, P Mammikutty won Shornur and P P Sumod won Tarur.
Minister K Krishnan Kutty of the Janata Dal (S) won Chittoor with the greatest victory margin in the district. The Congress had high hopes in Pattambi but CPI’s Muhammed Muhsin increased his victory margin to double.
The BJP drew blank but relegated the CPM to the third position in Palakkad and the Congress to the third position in Malampuzha.
The UDF bastion withstood the LDF wave. The UDF retained the 12 seats it held while the LDF guarded their four seats. As many as 11 sitting MLAs from both fronts ensured another term. In Tavanur, minister K T Jaleel trumped UDF candidate Firoz Kunnamparambil. Youth League state general secretary P K Firoz could not wrest Tanoor back from the LDF.
The UDF could not topple LDF independent P V Anwar in Nilambur. However, victory margins were reduced for Anwar in Nilambur, V Abdurahman in Tanoor and Jaleel in Tavanur.
In Ponnani, where the LDF witnessed a mini revolt due the candidate selection, P Nandakumar increased the front’s victory margin. In Tiroorangadi, UDF’s K P A Majeed increased his margin.
Najeeb Kanthapuram of the UDF won Perinthalmanna in the last minute by defeating former Malappuram municipal council chairman K P M Mustafa who was drawn to the LDF camp.
Muslim League general secretary P K Kunjalikutty won Vengara with an impressive margin. Former minister Manjalamkuzhi Ali won Mankada hands down. The only foothold for the Congress in the district is Vandoor, where former minister A P Anil Kumar won. While the Muslim League increased its lead in Eranad, Kottakkal, Tirur, Vallikkunnu and Kondotty, the leads were reduced in Malappuram and Manjeri.
The BJP which contested 14 seats in the district and ally BDJS which contested two seats ended up with fewer votes this time.
Both the LDF and the UDF ended up trading seats in the Kozhikode seats. The UDF retook Koduvally while the LDF wrested back Kuttiyadi. The UDF lost its sitting seat in Kozhikode South while the LDF was trumped by the RMP in Vatakara. The final score resembled that of 2016 – two for the UDF and 11 for the LDF.
The Congress would go without representation in the district for the fourth time in a row. The party-led alliance, however, won Vatakara, which had only swayed to their side in 1980 when the Janata Party allied with the Congress. The LJD’s departure from the alliance helped the UDF wrest Vatakara on the back of the RMP. Vatakara was a prestigious seat for the CPM. Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan even tweaked his campaign schedule to focus on Vatakara.
The CPM heaved a sigh of relief when it won Kuttiyadi, where local workers had raised a banner of revolts over the party’s decision to let the Kerala Congress (M) contest from there. The CPM eventually agreed to contest the seat and won it too.
The Muslim League struck back in Koduvally by fielding M K Muneer. However, the Kozhikode South, which Muneer represented in the previous assembly, was lost to the LDF. In Balussery, the Congress could not make any ripples despite the star power of actor Dharmajan Bolghatty.
The BJP was a no show.
The UDF stood tall in Wayanad, winning two of the three seats. The Congress retained Sulthan Batheri with a greater margin and wrested Kalpetta. In Mananthawadi, CPM’s O R Kelu defeated former minister P K Jayalakshmi by 9282 votes.
The CPM’s gambit of fielding KPCC general secretary M S Viswanathan did not pay off in Sulthan Batheri, where sitting MLA I C Balakrishnan got elected.
The CPM’s calculations in Kannur did not go wrong. The alliance romped home with all but two seats. Of course, the party was hoping to win Peravoor but ended up with a surprise victory in Kannur. The party was not very confident of the prospects of ally Ramachandran Kadannappally retaining Kannur.
The Congress is still licking its wounds after district president Satheesan Pacheni lost to Kadannappally for the second straight term. CPM candidate K V Sumesh trumped Muslim League incumbent K M Shaji in Azhikode by about 5,000 votes.
The Congress increased its lead in Irikkoor where Sajeev Joseph’s chances were thought to have been dimmed by factional feuds in the party. Sunny Joseph retained Peravoor for the UDF by 3,172 votes. The Muslim League drew a blank in the Kannur district after it lost Azhikode and Koothuparamba.
Health minister K K Shailaja scored the largest victory margin in Mattannur. Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan won Dharmadam by more than 50,000 votes. M Vijin in Kallyasseri and T I Madhusoodanan in Payyannur also have leads of over 40,000 votes.
Nothing much changed as far as the electoral scene in the Kasaragod district was concerned. The UDF won two seats and the LDF three. The Muslim League retained Manjeswaram and Kasaragod, while the CPM kept Uduma and Trikaripur. The CPI won Kanhangad.
BJP state president K Surendran lost his third fight in Manjeswar. Minister E Chandrasekharan won Kanhangad for the third straight term. The Congress expected to wrest Uduma this time but conceded defeat to the CPM.