Elections became due in Kerala with the Left Democratic Front (LDF) Ministry, the third to be led by Mr. E. K. Nayanar, completing its term in May 2001. The polling was held on May 10.
There has been no change in the composition of the ruling and Opposition fronts in the State since 1996 except for a split in the RSP. The RSP faction led by Mr. Baby John, renamed Revolutionary Socialist Party (Bolshevik) migrated to the Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF).
Just before the elections, the LDF and the Indian National League entered into an electoral understanding, with the LDF leaving three seats for them to contest. The People's Democratic Party (PDP) declared unilateral support for UDF. The BJP and its minor allies fielded candidates only in 130 out of the 140 constituencies.