The battle for the much-watched Coimbatore South Assembly constituency went the BJP’s way with its candidate Vanathi Srinivasan winning by 1,728 votes.
But the run-up to the result was an interesting period as it was Makkal Needhi Maiam president Kamal Haasan’s show all the way until a late swing in Ms. Srinivasan’s favour changed the course.
Of the 26 rounds of counting, Mr. Haasan was ahead of Ms. Srinivasan and Congress’ Mayura S. Jayakumar until Round 22. At the end of Round 22, Mr. Haasan had 176 votes more than Ms. Vanathi. By then Mr. Jayakumar was a distant third.
At the end of Round 23, the balance tilted in favour of the BJP candidate as she had an 890 vote advantage over the actor-turned politician. She kept extending her lead to 1,114 votes at the end of Round 24, 1,237 votes at the end of Round 25 and 1,540 votes at the end of Round 26.
Of the 26 rounds, Mr. Haasan had polled more votes than the other contestants only in nine; Ms. Vanathi stood in first place in 13 rounds and Mr. Jayakumar in four. The reason, according to data available with the Election Commission of India, that Mr. Haasan was leading for a good period was that his leads were in the initial rounds – Rounds 1 and Rounds 3 – 22.
Ms. Vanathi led from Round 23 onwards until the end of counting. And in postal ballots, as Ms. Vanathi had polled more votes than Mr. Haasan, it did not make an impact on the figures from electronic voting machines. That Mr. Jayakumar had polled more postal votes than the other two did not count.