A mid-term election became necessary in 1982 with the fall of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government, led by Mr. E. K. Nayanar, following withdrawal of support for the Government by the Congress-A, the Kerala Congress (M) and the Janata (Gopalan).

A realignment of political parties took place soon after with the Congress-A, the Kerala Congress (M) and the Janatha (G) joining the United Democratic front (UDF). The UDF included eleven parties viz., the Congress (I), the Congress (A), the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the Kerala Congress-Mani (KC-M), Kerala Congress-Joseph (KC-J), the National Democratic Party (NDP), the Socialist Republican Party (SRP), the Praja Socialist Party (PSP), the Janatha (G), the Revolutionary Socialist Party led by SreekantanNair (RSP-S) and the National Revolutionary Socialist Party (NRSP). The Democratic Labour Party ((DLP) declared support to this Front.

The LDF comprised the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the Communist Party of India (CPI), the Congress (S), the All India Muslim League (AIML), the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), the Kerala Congress-Socialist (KC-S), the Democratic Socialist Party (DSP) and the Lok Dal. The Janatha Party had seat adjustments with the LDF.

In the 1957 elections, the first one after the birth of Kerala, there were only five political parties to contest the elections. It had risen to twenty-five in 1982.

The polling was held on May 19. Out of the 140 elective seats in the Assembly 13 were reserved for Scheduled Castes and one for Scheduled Tribes.The size of the electorate had dwindled to 13,117,012 in 1982 from 13,266,064 recorded in 1980. Female voters outnumbered their male counterparts. The Udumbanchola constituency presented the maximum number of voters (118,416). Manjeswar was at the other end of the scale with 78,678 voters. There were 14,963 polling stations in the 1982 elections.

As in the case of the 1980 elections, candidates sponsored by the UDF and the LDF in all the 140 constituencies were the main contestants. As many as 1,399 nominations were filed. The largest number of nominations (21) was in Nilambur and the lowest to Udma (four). On scrutiny 21 nominations were rejected. Of the remaining 1378 nominees, 679 persons had withdrawn their nominations. Thus 699 candidates were in the field of contest, of which 280 (140 each) were the candidates of both fronts and 69 belonged to the BJP. Some candidates withdrew after the stipulated time indicating support to the candidates of either of the fronts.

In spite of the increase its the number of female voters, there were only19 women candidates at the hustings. Palghat, Nilambur and Trivandrum West constituencies had the largest number of candidates-11 each. Kazhakuttom came to close second (10). There were straight fights in eight constituencies as against 23 in 1980. In 50 booths of the Parur constituency, electronic voting machines were used for the first time in the country. However, this was successfully challenged before the Supreme Court-- as there was no provision in the electoral law for use of voting machines, and hence re-polling was ordered in the 50 booths.