The DAB and Hong Kong Progressive Alliance (HKPA) last night denied they had agreed to exchange preferences to ensure each won a share of the 10 Election Committee seats. The parties were believed to be assured of at least half the seats but could take more if they each asked their supporters to give their preferences to the other's candidates. Committee members must list 10 choices in order of preference. All but 20 of the Election Committee's 800 members - or 97.5 per cent - had cast votes by 9.30 pm. The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong and the HKPA each fielded four candidates. The DAB and HKPA could call on support from about 66 and 60 committee members respectively. The Liberal Party and the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood each had one candidate. Ambrose Lau Hon-chuen, chairman of the HKPA, said the fight had been fierce. 'Not all the subsectors know us. I guess the number of votes for those ranking between eighth and 15th is very close,' he said. He and deputy Yeung Chun-kam were believed to have a high chance of getting seats. Election Committee member and former Law Society president Christopher Chan Cheuk said he hoped the 10 seats would not be dominated by the parties.