Thiruvananthapuram: Now that elections for the 20 Lok Sabha seats in Kerala are over, an unusually long interlude of intense anxiety and suspense awaits both the candidates and voters as the results are known only on May 16.
As per the final count of the Election Commission, the state recorded 74.04 per cent voting yesterday, which is marginally higher than 73.37 per cent in 2009 elections.
Politically active Vatakara seat in north Kerala, where Congress candidate and Union Minister Mullapally Ramachandran is locked in fierce contest with CPI-M's youth leader A N Shamseer, witnessed the highest turnout of 81.61 per cent.
The adjacent Kannur, where CPI-M's woman leader P K Sreemathy took on sitting Congress MP K Sudhakaran, is a close runner up recording a turn out of 81.31 per cent.
Pathanamthitta in south Kerala, an area that tops in social development indices, reported negative birth rate, had the lowest voter turn out of 66.01.
The turn-out of 68.69 was not high by the state's standards in Thiruvananthapuram, where Union Minister Shashi Tharoor is engaged in a three-cornered fight with CPI's Bennet Abraham and BJP's O Rajagopal.
Even as the sound and fury of the election season has subsided, different political camps are still continuing their claims and counter claims premising their forecasts on the voter turn out.
Political analysts, however, have adopted the "wait-and-see" approach, refraining from hazarding any forecasts in favour of the two coalitions that dominate the scene in the state.