Thiruvananthapuram: As the initial trends started coming, a neck-and-neck battle between the CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) is witnessed after the counting of votes was taken up in the three-phase local body poll in Kerala at 0800 hours on Wednesday.
In Gram Panchayats, LDF is leading in 403 seats, UDF in 347 seats, NDA in 28 seats and others in 58 seats. In block panchayats, LDF is leading in 95 seats while UDF in 55 seats, and BJP in 1 seat.
In Districts Panchayats, the LDF leads in 12 seats while the UDF leads in 2 seats. In Municipalities, LDF leads in 37 seats and UDF in 40 seats.
In a major set back to UDF in Kochi Corporation, its Mayor candidate N Venugopal lost by 1 vote to NDA candidate.
In Thiruvananthapuram Corporation, the LDF and the BJP-led NDA is likely to emerge as the main opponents, with LDF leading in 22 wards, BJP in 13 wards, the UDF in 3 wards and others in 2.
In the 2015 local body poll, LDF got 37.36 percent votes and UDF 37.23 percent of votes.
In the previous election, the LDF won a larger number of panchayats, block panchayats and Corporations than the UDF. However, the UDF won major seats in the Municipalities.
In the 14 district panchayats, both the LDF and the UDF won seven district panchayats each.
The counting of votes began in 21,893 wards of 1,200 local bodies which went to the poll on December 8, 10 and 14 respectively and the overall voter turnout was 78.62 percent.
However, polling in two wards— Thillankery ward in Kannur district panchayat and Thathoor division in Mavoor Panchayat in Kozhikode, was postponed due to the death of candidates.
The swearing-in ceremony of the newly elected members will take place on December 21.