Four days after the state assembly polls, when the voter turnout was released to the public, the figures revealed an underlying pattern — the northern constituencies had remarkably high turnout of women, Kuttiadi topping with 86%, followed by Koduvally with 83%. It seems the keenness of the womenfolk faded gradually down south with Thiruvananthapuram registering the least turnout of 61%.
The question is how women voted this year — how their views differed across age groups or urban or rural areas? Kochi-based think tank Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) conducted a post-poll survey in 14 constituencies spread across the state, giving insights into the way the women voted this time. While 41% women voted for LDF in 2016, it grew to 46% in 2021, shows the survey. On the other hand, 40% women had voted for the UDF in 2016, which came down to 37% this time. But, NDA improved the women’s votes from 6% to 11%.
However, looking at various income levels, we get a different picture. About 75% women with more than Rs 10 lakh annual income voted in favour of UDF, while only 25% voted for LDF. In the Rs 5-10 lakh annual income group, only 20% voted for UDF, while 60% voted for LDF.
In the age group 18-30 years, 31% women voted for UDF in 2016, and 34% for LDF. These figures changed to 36% and 49%, respectively in 2021, CPPR survey shows. In 2016, among women aged 31-40 years, 41% voted for UDF and 45% voted for LDF. However, these figures changed to 37% and 45%, respectively in 2021. For women aged 41-50, UDF was the preferred party for 50% and LDF for 36% in 2016. However, these changed to 43% and 39% respectively in 2021. Similarly, women aged 51-60 years, 40% had chosen UDF and 44% had opted LDF in 2016, which moved to 34% and 47% respectively in 2021. For women aged above 60 years, 26% were in favour of UDF and 64% in favour of LDF in 2016. These figures changed to 21% and 67% in 2021.
For 48% of women voters surveyed, it was the political party that mattered the most in their decision of voting. About 26% of them said that they looked at the candidate to decide whether to vote for that person or not. And another 11% were impressed by the performance of the LDF government in taking their decisions.
This news article was published in The Times of India on May 3, 2021. Click here to read