Albert Ho Chun-yan says Democrats to step up campaign after poll setback

Albert Ho says the party will fight harder after poll shows it losing support to People Power

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 August, 2012, 3:20am

Democratic Party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan promised yesterday to boost his party's campaign efforts to retain its seven geographical-constituency seats in the Legislative Council, after opinion polls showed it losing support to a radical rival.

Speaking after an election forum in Sham Shui Po, Ho said the party had convened an emergency meeting and decided to step up its campaign.

"It will include highlighting our campaign theme and slogans, handing out more leaflets, boosting advertising efforts, delivering our message in a more focused way in debates, and holding campaign rallies," Ho said.

"The latest poll findings show that we are in an emergency," he said. "Hongkongers have to consider which approach they prefer - rational discussion and negotiation or the other way round."

Results of tracking polls in the past two days showed four of the Democrats' eight slates of candidates - which had earlier looked set to win - had slipped in the polls, with People Power gaining support.

The Democrat slates in trouble are those led by Sin Chung-kai in the Hong Kong Island constituency; Dr Helena Wong Pik-wan in Kowloon West; Wu Chi-wai in Kowloon East; and incumbent Wong Sing-chi in New Territories East.

Only incumbents Emily Lau Wai-hing in the New Territories East constituency and Lee Wing-tat in New Territories West still appeared secure in their seats, according to the University of Hong Kong public opinion programme poll.

As in previous polls, Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong in New Territories East and Josephine Chan Shu-ying in New Territories West did not appear to have a good chance of winning seats.

In the election forum on welfare for the elderly, hosted by the Society for Community Organisation and the Elderly Rights League, all the pan-democrat candidates, and the Federation of Trade Unions' candidates, for five so-called super seats being elected citywide supported calls to establish an official poverty line, shorten the waiting time for public health-care services, and provide more public housing.

The organisers criticised Lau Kong-wah and Starry Lee Wai-king of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, and independent candidate Pamela Peck Wan-kam, for not showing up.

Meanwhile, in a pre-recorded RTHK debate broadcast last night, education-sector contender Ho Hon-kuen accused his rival Ip Kin-yuen of not being a stalwart fighter for democracy.

Ip rejected the accusation, saying he would criticise mainland authorities when needed.

The two are battling to replace pan-democrat Cheung Man-kwong, who is seeking a directly elected seat in Kowloon West.