Last dash for some, for others just a rest

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 September, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 September, 2004, 12:00am

The final stage of campaigning sees a contrast in styles

Many candidates contesting functional constituencies visited selected polling stations yesterday. Others worked the phones, sending out short messages in last-minute campaigning. But some chose to stay at home and rest.

Still, by 9.30pm, a record 58.87 per cent of the electorate had voted, with the district council constituency having the highest turnout, at 86.36 per cent, and catering the lowest, at 40.96 per cent.

Three of the nine contenders for the accountancy seat - Edward Chow Kwong-fai, Chan Mo-po and Louis Leung Wing-on - greeted voters at polling stations.

Peter Chan Po-fun, who at 82 is the oldest candidate, stayed in his office to make last-minute phone calls. Wilfred Wu Shek-chun stayed away from the hustings. 'They will have made up their minds by now,' said Mr Wu of the voters.

The two frontrunners in the medical constituency, Lo Wing-lok and Kwok Ka-ki, joined ball games at Sandy Bay and visited hospitals. Michael Mak Kwok-fung, the incumbent for the health services sector, found time to attend an infection control conference - to meet voters.

In the social welfare constituency, Cheung Kwok-che used the Social Workers' General Union telephones, while Cheung Chiu-hung, a lecturer at Polytechnic University, and his campaign team drove around in a fleet of nine cars.

Incumbent legislator for the labour sector, Chan Kwok-keung, said he had relied on the phone for the past three days because he had been unable to approach voters personally.

Tourism sector rivals Howard Young and Paul Tse Wai-chun rang voters up. Mr Young, perhaps sensing his own victory, spent time last night campaigning for Liberal Party vice-chairwoman Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee in New Territories West.

The two frontrunners for the architectural, surveying and planning sector, Patrick Lau Sau-shing and Lau Ping-cheung, also sent out text messages.

Incumbent Lau Ping-cheung said: 'Many [voters] live in the eastern district of Hong Kong Island, Causeway Bay and Wan Chai, so I focused on the big stations in these areas.'