In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, AIADMK had bagged 37 seats with a vote share of 44.9%, defying all pre-poll predictions. This time round, exit polls predict the DMK to make strong comeback sweeping up to 38 seats. The fortunes of the party seem to have reversed under MK Stalin, who took over after his father, Karunanidhi's death, and he seems to be delivering. DMK, in fact, had also got a boost in its vote share in the state Assembly election post 2014.
AIADMK which has seen a lot of churn post Jayalalithaa's death in 2016 is likely to lose ground. Tamil Nadu, which has 39 seats in the Lok Sabha, had seen polling in all of them, barring Vellore due to abuse of money power, on April 18. More than 822 candidates were in the fray, vying for the ballots of the state's over 5.8 crore registered voters but the battlelines here are clearly drawn up between two alliances, each led by a powerful state party.
The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) is contesting in alliance with the BJP as well as BJP and PMK, the Congress is contesting as part of the front led by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), which also includes the Left parties. Both AIADMK and DMK are contesting on 20 seats, leaving out the remaining 19 to their alliance partners.
The BJP and the Congress have reconciled themselves to playing a secondary role in the alliances having won 1 and 0 seats, respectively, in the state in the last elections. Significantly, this is the first election in decades to be fought in the absence of cult figures like J. Jayalalithaa and M. Karunanidhi.
Meanwhile, actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan's party Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) is also in the fray for the first time.