The polls were regarded by hopefuls as a curtain-raiser for the functional constituency elections in May. With the 30 functional groups having corresponding subsectors in yesterday's race, candidates gearing up for both battles believed the results would affect their future campaigns. The Real Estate Developers' Association of Hong Kong viewed the outcome as a test of support for Ronald Arculli's re-election to the Real Estate and Construction seat. It sought approval from the Electoral Affairs Commission to conduct an exit poll yesterday. Liberal Party tourism candidate Howard Young said the subsector polls would show who would be the potential candidates for the battle ahead. Another aspirant, Li Wai-keung, said he was paving the way for his campaign in 2004. 'The subsector campaign is a real test which gives me practical experience in soliciting support,' he said.