Pollster Robert Chung says 'super seats' will boost voting in Legco polls

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 September, 2012, 3:40am

University of Hong Kong pollster Dr Robert Chung Ting-yiu says he expects that the additional "super-seat" votes offered to 3.2 million electors for the first time will boost the turnout in Sunday's Legislative Council election.

Chung said yesterday the "structural factor" of the new "one person, two votes" system was likely to boost the turnout in the geographical constituencies beyond the 45.2 per cent of the last election four years ago, although he would not put a number on it.

"Because we are having a one-person-two-votes system this time, if any voter is attracted to any one of the two votes, that person will vote," he said.

Anyone who does not have a vote in another functional constituency can vote in the election for five new seats created in the district council constituency, in addition to voting in their own geographical division.

Chung was giving his personal view as his Public Opinion Programme's latest poll showed that electors' "propensity" to vote - not necessarily reflected in the actual turnout - had risen to 83 per cent, similar to the level in the two previous elections.

The rolling poll, conducted between last Thursday and Monday, also found that nearly a third of voters in New Territories East, the most hotly contested constituency, remained undecided, which was about five percentage points above similar polls in 2004 and 2008.

Almost 30 per cent also said they were undecided on their choice among the seven lists of candidates vying for the five "super seats", so named because of the large number of eligible voters.

The results were based on five-day rolling polls in which hundreds of voters are interviewed daily. The team has interviewed 13,457 respondents between August 1 and September 3.

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam Chi-yuen said he expected more invalid votes after some super-seat candidates urged supporters to cast blank votes, which would delay the counting. He expects the count to be completed at around noon on Monday.

Meanwhile, Chinese University political scientist Stan Wong Hok-wui unveiled a Facebook app allowing users to state their voting preferences online, helping voters with similar preferences to split their votes between different lists to ensure election of their favoured candidates.

Wong said users could make better decisions as a result of knowing how their friends were planning to vote.