Kerala Elections 2021: LDF and UDF to face vote-share crunch with rising prominence of NDA

Will the UDF come back as winners, or the incumbent LDF will dominate the Assembly?

Sharanya Gupta, Md. Shafiqul Islam and Aikantik Bag

As the elections approach in Kerala, the fight between the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the United Democratic Front (UDF) is getting intensified in the southern state, as pre-poll predictions project that the CPI(M) led UDF is going to form the government for the second consecutive time.

In the 2016 elections, the LDF won the election, beating the incumbent UDF. The LDF had a vote share of 43.14 percent, while the UDF fared little behind with a vote share of 38.60 percent. But, when it came to constituencies, the LDF lead with 91 out of the 142 seats, while the UDF managed to win in only 47 constituencies.

It is important to note, while the BJP had managed to win only one seat, it played a significant role in the 2016 elections. While vote shares of both the UDF and the LDF went down marginally, the vote share of the BJP went up by almost nine percent.

This time, the BJP might win in even more seats, especially in the ones where they put a strong fight, and in some finishing second.

But, it is for sure that the main fight is between the LDF and the UDF, as even though the BJP increases its votes, after considering all the constituencies, the chances of the BJP reaching a magic figure is seemingly insignificant.

The LDF’s vote percentage in individual constituencies has not changed much in the past two assembly elections. They are also enjoying a popular support projecting their transparency in party funds, as they are the only political party to have made their fund sources public.

On the other hand, the UDF is under more pressure as its vote share has decreased in the 2016 election over the election of 2011, and numbers say that the votes shifted to the BJP.

While it is evident that the BJP is trying to increase its foothold in Kerala, it is only a matter of time to see, how much it influences the results of the 2021 elections.

While, the BJP will not be in a place to form the government in Kerala, it might play a pivotal role, in cutting votes from the two major players— UDF and the LDF.

The trend in votes casted by the new voters in this election might also pose a significant factor for who is going to dominate in the Kerala assembly after the elections in 2021.

If the LDF wins the elections, it will break a trend set in course in Kerala. Since the 1987 elections, the assembly in Kerala has been occupied alternatively by coalitions led by the CPI(M) and the Congress.