But after the last general elections many opposition lawmakers crossed over and became ministers in the ruling administration.
Under Sri Lanka's election law, voters choose lawmakers under a proportional representation system where they can indicate a preference for a list of candidates.
In Hambantota, the home base of Sri Lanka's president Mahinda Rajapaksa, his son Namal who entered hustings for the first time this year topped the list of preferences, while a brother Chamal came third.
Popular cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya who contested from Matara also in Sri Lanka's south topped the district list.
Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Front came a distant second in most districts polling around 25 to 30 percent of the vote, which is less than half the 65 to 70 percent polled by the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance.Marxist-nationalist JVP which contested with former military chief Sarath Fonseka is expected to win half a dozen seats from four districts.