PRE-HANDOVER electoral results have provided a reference for political parties to assess support in the first SAR geographical constituency polls, an academic says. In 1994, the Democratic Party took 20.3 per cent of the 157,624 votes in the 70 district board constituencies covered in the New Territories East. The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB) won 12 per cent and the Liberal Party 15 per cent. The rest came from independents, district groups and rural forces, with about 14 per cent likely to swing to the DAB. With five seats up for grabs under the proportional representation system, a geographical list with one-fifth of the votes cast on May 24 would secure a seat. City University social studies lecturer Ivan Choy Chi-keung said the previous polling results had provided the basis for assessing parties' strengths in May's elections. But he said the 1994 outcome could not fully reflect the situation because the enlarged electorate and constituency size would pose new challenges to parties. He added that the 1994 results did not show Emily Lau Wai-hing's support. An analysis of 1995 Legislative Council polls showed Ms Lau and candidates from her allies, the United Ants, won 30 per cent of the votes in four constituencies corresponding to the May boundary. The Democrats scored 14.6 per cent while the DAB secured 35.5 per cent. Independent Andrew Wong Wang-fat, a close ally of the rural camp, won 47.8 per cent of the votes cast in one of the four constituencies. His chances are likely to increase if the Heung Yee Kuk on Thursday confirms a decision against fielding candidates.