National

Higher voter turnout in Kannur keeps parties guessing

The higher voter turnout in the Kannur Lok Sabha constituency compared to that in the 2014 general election is keeping the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the United Democratic Front (UDF) here guessing about the electoral fortunes.

With 83.06 per cent polling, the Kannur parliament constituency tops in the voter turnout in the general election in the State on April 23.

The increase in the percentage of polled votes in the constituency from 81.33 in 2014 to 83.06 has prompted the fronts to make calculations about the outcome of the election. Both the LDF and the UDF, which fielded P.K. Sreemathy and K. Sudhakaran respectively, the same rivals who had fought in the 2014 election, have their own theories to support their calculations.

In the 2014 election, the Kannur seat was wrested by Ms. Sreemathy from Mr. Sudhakaran by a margin of 6,000-odd votes.

The latter had defeated the CPI(M)’s K.K. Ragesh by a margin of 43,000-odd votes. The UDF pins its hopes on the higher voter turnout in the Assembly segments of Irikkur, Azhikode, Kannur and Peravur where it has electoral edge, especially Peravur in the eastern hill areas where the polling percentage has risen from 78.4 to 81.39.

In Irikkur, the poll percentage in the election on Tuesday was 80.94% (78.97% in 2014), in Azhikode 80.96% (80.1%) and in Kannur 79.23% (77.44%). In the 2014 election the voter turnout in Irikkur and Peravur, which gave Mr. Sudhakaran big margins in the 2009 general election, was lower.

The LDF circles peg their hopes on the increased polling percentage in the Taliparamba, Dharmadam and Mattannur Assembly segments which are the fortresses of the CPI(M). The percentage of polled votes in Taliparamba has gone up from 85.03 to 86.16, Dharmadam from 83.68 to 85.68 and Mattannur from 84.47 to 86.22.

Over the next month, parties may do booth-wise calculations about the electoral chances of their respective candidates to engage in more reliable guesswork.

Source: thehindu.com

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