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Elections 2019: Kerala Likely to Go For LDF

Projections based on the 2016 Assembly election results show that the Left & Democratic Front is likely to win at least 14 seats and may go up to 17 seats, out of 20.
Kerala LDF

Representational image. | Image Courtesy: News Minute

Kerala, which will go to polls on April 23, in the third phase of ongoing Lok Sabha elections is likely to see the Left and Democratic Front (LDF) win a majority of the 20 seats, according to projections from the 2016 Assembly poll results.

Newsclick data analytics team analysed the 2016 Assembly results and found that a straight forward projection indicates 15 seats to LDF and five seats for the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF).

Application of a swing factor of 2% towards LDF yields 17-3 score in its favour while a 2% swing towards UDF brings the tally down to 14-6. It may be recalled that in 2014, UDF had won 12 Parliamentary seats while the LDF had settled for six seats.






Performance of LDF Government

The key reason for the LDF’s likely good showing is the performance of the LDF government since its election in 2016. Besides increasing public investment in education, reviving sick public sector units and other welfare measures, the state government has been praised and appreciated widely for its quick and decisive response to the unprecedented floods in 2018. The subsequent relief and rehabilitation work has been free of usual corruption and inefficiency, so often seen elsewhere in the country. The gigantic task of rebuilding destroyed homes and infrastructure is likely to attract more support for the LDF.

Sabrimala and BJP

The BJP-led NDA had not been able to get significant votes, despite the Modi wave in other parts of the country, consoling themselves with about 11% votes. Since then, BJP has unleashed a whole bag of dirty tricks based on regressive and casteist tactics, to somehow make inroads in this southern state. The most recent of this was the Sabrimala Temple entry controversy in which BJP and an alliance of casteist forces instigated a violent movement to protest against the Supreme Court’s order allowing women of all ages to enter the shrine. In their recently released manifesto, the BJP has included the Sabrimala issue asserting that it would do its utmost to uphold the supremacy of religious customs and traditions. This effectively means that the supremacy of Constitution and Supreme Court is being challenged by the saffron forces.

The Left took on this challenge squarely and boldly with the LDF government led by P.Vijayan vowing to implement the Court order. Left parties campaigned extensively across the state to uphold secular values and protect the Constitution. A 620-km long Women’s Wall that spanned the whole state was organised on January 1, this year in which an estimated five million  women participated protesting against the BJP-led opposition to the Sabrimala entry. They asserted that progressive ideas and actions are superior to discriminatory practices of the past.

The Sabrimala issue is likely to play a part in the voting pattern on polling day and LDF supporters are confident that the BJP’s ploy will be soundly defeated. The Congress too played a bizarre role in the Sabrimala related agitation, first welcoming the order and them opportunistically opposing it.

The Congress has fielded Rahul Gandhi from Wayanad, considered a safe seat for the Congress. This has surprised progressive sections across the country because Gandhi would be pitted against an LDF candidate with BJP supported BDJS candidate nowhere in the picture, thus detracting from the countrywide Congress stance of fighting the communal BJP. It is likely that voters in Wayanad may get swayed by having a high profile candidate in their midst though the LDF remains committed to conduct a vigorous campaign in its usual manner.

[Data analysis by Peeyush Sharma and mapping by Glenissa Pereira]

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