A total of 143 voting channels in 36 polling centres were opened from 8am today to enable 80,229 electorates to cast their votes for the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election.

The polling centres are located at the Yayasan Islam Terengganu al-Quran and Fardu Ain learning centre in Jalan Hiliran as well as in schools and multipurpose halls around the city.

Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh and Pas candidate Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut were among those who turned up early to cast their votes.

Wan Farid was the first to cast his vote at the Sekolah Kebangsaan Pusat Bukit Besar polling centre at 8.02am, followed by his wife Toh Puan Intan Baizura Abdul Wahab.

“I hope that voters will come out early. I hope that the fair weather is a sign of BN’s victory,” he told reporters.

Mohd Abdul Wahid, meanwhile, cast his vote at the Sekolah Kebangsaan Pusat Chabang Tiga polling centre at 8.07am.

Independent candidate Azharudin Mamat @ Adam did not cast his vote as he is a registered voter in the Petaling Jaya Utara parliamentary area.

Voters are expected to cast their votes early to take advantage of the fair weather.

The Meteorological Department had forecast that there would be rain in the afternoon.

The by-election, which is seeing a three-way fight between Wan Ahmad, Mohd Abdul Wahid and Azharudin, is held following the death of Deputy Education Minister Datuk Razali Ismail on Nov 28.

In the 12th general election in March, Razali defeated Mohamad Sabu of Pas and an Independent candidate, Maimun Yusuf, with a 628-vote majority.

Traffic in the city was under control, with vehicles carrying party flags seen plying the streets, while police personnel were stationing themselves in strategic locations.

The police had deployed some 6,000 personnel throughout the by-election.

The Election Commission expects a 90 per cent voter turnout.