The United Democratic Front (UDF) led by the Congress, the main opposition, won 41 of the seats.

A child waves a CPIM red flag above him as he stands in he middle of a crowd
news 2021 Kerala Assembly Election Sunday, May 02, 2021 - 20:25

Nearly four and a half decades after the fifth Assembly election in 1977, Kerala has repeated history by re-electing the incumbent government to power. The Left Democratic Front (LDF), led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) – CPI(M), has won 99 of the 140 Assembly seats in the state to come back to power. The LDF not only won eight seats more than it had secured in the 2016 Assembly election, but managed to increase their vote share.

The main opposition – the United Democratic Front (UDF), led by the Congress – won 41 of the seats. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won no seats at all.

The exit polls had predicted a simple majority for the LDF.

Among the most anticipated constituencies, the LDF won Nemom, Konni and Thrithala. It also retained its bastions such as Dharmadom, Koothaparamba and Attingal.

The incumbent LDF formed the government in 2016, winning 91 of the 140 seats, while the UDF, which had ruled the state from 2011 to 2016, had won only 47 seats. The 2016 polls also created history by electing a BJP member for the first time in Kerala, from the Nemom Assembly seat. O Rajagopal, veteran BJP leader, became the first BJP Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) in the state. For this reason, Nemom became one of the most discussed constituencies in the 2021 election, with all three fronts fielding strong candidates.

The LDF did not have a CM face before the 2016 elections and there was a lot of interest in who would be the CM – former Chief Minister and veteran CPI(M) leader VS Achuthanandan or the party’s former no-nonsense secretary Pinarayi Vijayan. In the end, the younger leader became the CM while Achuthanandan took on an administrative role.

This time, the UDF also followed suit, not projecting a CM face while both Oommen Chandy, former Chief Minister, and Ramesh Chennithala, Opposition Leader for five years, were looked upon as likely candidates.

A few candidates in the NDA also stirred interest, with none of them winning seats. This included BJP state president K Surendran lost both from Manjeswaram and Konni, ‘Metroman’ E Sreedharan who lost Palakkad and Kummanam Rajasekharan who contested from Nemom.

Also read: Kerala says no to BJP, party does not win a single seat

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