76pc to vote, but only 47pc know who for

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 November, 2007, 12:00am

About 76 per cent of registered voters intend to cast ballots tomorrow and 47 per cent have decided who to vote for, a survey has found.

The 76 per cent rating is the same as last week but 2 per cent higher than for the last election four years ago, when the turnout rate was 44.1 per cent.

Some 877 registered voters were interviewed early this week by the public opinion programme of the University of Hong Kong.

While the survey noted that the intentional voting rate may not convert into a final turnout, Robert Chung Ting-yiu, director of the programme, observed that while almost half had decided their choice of candidate, the figure for 2003 was 37 per cent. This could be seen as a positive factor that would boost the turnout rate.

Half of the voters said the previous performance of candidates was a critical consideration, while 36 per cent were swayed by a candidate's platform and political alignment.

Only 3 per cent considered a candidate's personal background and performance during their election campaign to be most important.

Meanwhile, the political backgrounds of 139 independent candidates were detailed on the website of Democracy Depot, a resource centre backed by pan-democrats. The camp is worried self-styled independent democrats with questionable credentials could cost them votes.

Albert Ho Chun-yan, chairman of the Democratic Party, hoped the turnout rate could reach 40 per cent.

Civic Party lawmaker Ronny Tong Ka-wah said he hoped his party could double its number of seven councillors.

Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong vice-chairman Lau Kong-wah predicted the turnout rate would be lower than in 2003 but said this might not necessarily favour any one camp.

Your guide to tomorrow's election

7.30am -10.30pm polling hours

866 candidates

2.96m registered voters

488 polling stations

3am full results expected

What to do

Bring Hong Kong identity card or other official identity document to designated polling station, which are usually at government buildings, community/sports centres and schools

Inside station, queue at counter according to ID card number

Collect ballot paper and paper board with official chop attached, along with brief instructions

Use chop to 'tick' box of desired candidate. Do not use pen

If you make mistake, ask presiding officer for replacement ballot

Fold ballot paper with vote facing inside, and place in ballot box

Return chop and paper board to polling staff