Record number of voters in local election; District Council seats shaken up

Record number of voters in local election; District Council seats shaken up

Hongkongers turned out in their thousands to vote for their district councillors, in a weekend poll that saw the DAB secure the most seats


Tuen Mun Lok Tsui candidate Albert Ho lost his bid.
Photo: K.Y. Cheng/SMCP

Voters turned out in record numbers in Sunday's District Council elections, which scored a historic turnout of 47 per cent. Of the 3.12 million eligible to vote, 47 per cent - or 1.36 million - had voted by 10.30pm.

Early results saw two veteran pro-democracy lawmakers defeated, while several candidates inspired by the Occupy protests scored unexpected victories.

The turnout beat the previous record of 44 per cent, as seen in 2003 after a 500,000-strong anti-government march that year.

The pro-establishment Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) won the most seats with 119, retaining its status as Hong Kong's biggest political party. But two DAB lawmakers, Elizabeth Quat and Christopher Chung Sun-kun, lost their district council bids.

Chung was defeated by Chui Chi-kin, an "umbrella soldier" inspired by the Occupy protests. As well as Chui, six other umbrella soldiers managed to march into district councils.

Two Pan-democracy candidates who won the most votes in the last Legislative Council election of 2012 suffered humiliating defeats.

The Democratic Party's Albert Ho Chun-yan was beaten by former Law Society president Junius Ho Kwan-yiu. And the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood's Frederick Fung Kin-kee was defeated by DAB's 25-year-old Chan Wing-yan.

In terms of percentages, no pan-democratic group fared better than the NeoDemocrats, which scored a 93.8 per cent success rate by winning 15 out of their 16 bids.

It was reported that several pro-Beijing candidates gave free rides to polling stations for elderly citizens, who were also allegedly told who to vote for.

Electoral Affairs Commission chairman Mr Justice Barnabas Fung Wah said offering benefits, including transport, to encourage people to vote, not vote, or to sway their vote was illegal.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Record number of voters in local election


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