TOP Democratic Party and Liberal Party legislators face defeat in September's Legislative Council elections, according to a comprehensive new survey of voting trends in the 20 contested constituencies. Staff and students at Chinese University spent three months on the report, which claims Liberal Party chairman Allen Lee Peng-fei will lose in Tai Po, while fellow party member Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee faces defeat in Kowloon's Yau Tsim Mong seat. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party is set to lose legislators Fred Li Wah-ming, the Reverend Fung Chi-wood and Zachary Wong Wai-yin unless they can rally support by turning the poll into a battle with Beijing. However the report, Political Market - Strategy and Consolidation - based on interviews with 300 politicians - paints a brighter overall picture for the Democrats, claiming they are virtually assured of nine of the 20 seats to be contested on September 17, while the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB) can be sure of winning three. Three seats seem certain to go to independent candidates, while the battle for the rest is still too close to call, the report says. It finds the DAB has a strong base in Wong Tai Sin, Tai Po and Kwun Tong, but says its secretary-general, Cheng Kai-nam, still faces defeat in Hong Kong Island's Southern District by Democratic Party vice-chairman, Dr Yeung Sum. The report's conclusions will disappoint Mr Allen Lee who, despite more than one year of grassroots work in the area, has not won the support of Tai Po leaders. Although he has forged an alliance with the Liberal Democratic Federation (LDF), it is unlikely this will hold if DAB chairman Tsang Yok-sing also stands, as is likely. 'The local LDF leaders are likely to support Mr Tsang despite this agreement,' said Dr Stephen Tang Lung-wai, who conducted the survey. The study suggests Mr Fung, the sitting Democratic Party legislator in the district, will also have difficulty retaining his seat. It also predicts Mrs Chow's chances in Yau Tsim Mong are slim since she has failed to build up a strong support base in the largely commercial area. She is expected to run against the Democratic Party's James To Kun-sun and Daniel Wong Kwok-tung of the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood. The report says Mr Cheng's expected defeat in Southern District - he also lost to Dr Yeung in the 1991 elections - will come about despite the support of influential Urban Councillor Joseph Chan Yuek-sut. It claims Mr Chan's supporters are mostly Catholic and unlikely to support a pro-Beijing candidate. It concludes that two Democratic Party legislators are also in danger of defeat: Fred Li is likely to lose to DAB vice-chairman Tam Yiu-chung in Kwun Tong; while Zachary Wong will forfeit his seat to independent Tang Siu-tong in Yuen Long. But Dr Tang, a lecturer in sociology at Chinese University, said the Democrats had a chance of retaining these seats if they convinced the public the polls should be treated as a 'holy war' ahead of the handover. 'They have to make people reflect their resistance to Beijing in the way they vote, otherwise their days of winning a majority in direct elections will be over,' he said. The study found most other well-known legislators would retain their seats with little difficulty. Democratic Party chairman Martin Lee Chu-ming will win comfortably in Hong Kong Island's Eastern District, as will fellow democrat Szeto Wah in Kowloon East, and independent Emily Lau Wai-hing in Sha Tin. Appointed legislator Christine Loh Kung-wai is expected to triumph in Happy Valley. But the report predicts none will be elected uncontested, as other parties will send candidates to oppose them, simply to prevent those assured of success from diverting all their resources into campaigning in the more keenly contested seats.