Kerala saw polarisation and splits of political forces since the formation of the United Democratic Front  Ministry on May 24, 1982. The merger of the two factions of the Indian National Congress, viz, the INC (I) and  the INC (A), in November, 1982 marked the beginning of the political polarisation. Another important event was the reunion of the IUML and the AIML in August, 1985. Before the election, the united Kerala Congress once again split into two; each faction continuing to remain in the UDF.  A faction of the Congress (S) and the Janata (G) also joined the INC (I).

In the mean time, there were splits in the NDP and the SRP. The NDP group led by Mr. Kidangoor Gopalakrishna Pillai and the SRP faction. led by Mr. Vijayarajan left the UDF, whereas the other factions of these parties stood with the Left Democratic Front.

The CPI-M took disciplinary action against their MLA, Mr. M.V. Raghavan. Consequently, he launched a new party, Communist Marxist Party (CMP). The emergence of a third front, the BJP-Hindu Munnani Front, was another political development.

The elections to the Eighth Kerala Assembly were held on  March 23, 1987. The UDF and the LDF were the two major political  fronts in the arena. The UDF had the INC(I),  IUML, KC(J), KC(M), NDP (P), SRP(S) and the RSP(S) as its constituents. The LDF comprised of the CPI(M), CPI, RSP, IC(S), Janata Party and the Lok Dal.  The BJP and. the Hindu Munnani formed the third front. Several smaller parties such as the NDP (P), SRP(V),  ILP, AIFB, ILC, SUCI, CMP, KSP and some non-political organisations also fielded their candidates. Besides, a record number (764) of  independent candidates were in the fray.

Out of the 140 elective seats in the Assembly, 13 were reserved for the SC and one for. the ST.  The electorate had increased from 13,117,012 in 1982 to 15,948,137 in 1987.  Female voters out-numbered the male voters. The Ernakulam District had the largest number of voters (1,597,136) and Wayanad the lowest (343,841 ). The largest constituency with regard to electorate was Udumbanchola (143,591) and the smallest Mattancherry (88,465).

Though the elections had been declared for all the 140 constituencies, the elections to two onstituencies-- Vamanapuram and Kottayam were countermanded following the demise of two independent candidates. While the election to the 138 constituencies were held on March 23, the elections in the other two constituencies were delayed until June 2, 1987. There were 1251 candidates at the hustings.  The female candidates numbered 35 against 15 in 1982. Ranni had the largest number of candidates (21) while Manjeswar and Neduvathur had the lowest (three each).

The LDF secured decisive majority in the House securing 78 seats. The UDF won 61 seats. An independent won at Ettumanoor. The third front could not open an account.