Initial trends from the counting of votes to the local body elections in Kerala show a clear advantage for the ruling CPM-led LDF in most of the rural and urban local bodies.
As of 11 am, the LDF is leading in 442 of the 941 panchayats, followed by UDF in 344 panchayats and NDA in 33 panchayats. The LDF also has a clear lead over the UDF in district panchayats (12 to 2), corporations (4 to 2) and block panchayats (100 to 49). Only in the case of municipalities, the LDF is trailing behind UDF (37 to 40).
The LDF has established a clear lead in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode corporations according to initial trends. The BJP is in second position in Thiruvananthapuram corporation and is in lead in the Palakkad municipality.
The elections to 15,962 wards in 941 gram panchayats, 2080 wards in 152 block panchayats, 331 divisions in 14 district panchayats, 3078 wards in 86 municipalities and 414 wards in six municipal corporations were held in three phases on December 8, 10 and 14. The overall voter turnout was 76%, only marginally lower than 77.76% in 2015.
In the 2015 polls, the CPM-led LDF won big by taking control of 551 of the 941 village panchayats, 42 of 86 municipalities, 7 of 14 district panchayats, 88 of 152 block panchayats and 4 out of the 6 corporations. The UDF came second by getting reins of 362 panchayats, 7 district panchayats, 2 corporations, 40 municipalities and 63 block panchayats. The BJP could come to power only in 14 panchayats and 1 municipality.