THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The voter turnout in the assembly elections declined sharply from 77.35 per cent in 2016 to around 74.02 per cent (as of 10pm on Tuesday) this time. The initial analysis based on the provisional voting percentage released by the Election Commission reveals that a considerable number of swing votes were not cast in around two dozen keenly-watched constituencies.
In 22 seats where elections had created a lot of public interest, polling dropped by 1-8 per cent from 2016. This means that despite intensive campaigning, the three fronts failed to bring fence sitters to the booths. Such seats include Kazhakoottam, Nemom, Konni, Palakkad, Pala and Thrissur.
N M Pearson, political observer, said, “The low turnout indicates absence of swing voters who often decide the winners in the race. But it’s hard to predict who will benefit from this as many constituencies have witnessed three-cornered fights.”
Normally, the Left used to benefit from the low voter turnout. “But things have changed over the years and there was a considerable number of swing votes even among the rank and file of mainstream political parties today. Overall, there was a stark contrast in the campaigning of Left and UDF as the former sought the mandate projecting Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, while there was a leadership uncertainty in the UDF,” he said. Political pundits also conceded that the controversies raised by the Opposition failed to bring voters to the booths.