Beijing's efforts to protect the incumbents in yesterday's poll reduced the number of defeats for old hands to four, according to observers. But although their actions secured most veterans' seats, some ageing incumbents who were strongly tipped to be returned still made way for younger candidates. Veteran Beijing adviser Wong Po-yan, 79, former chairman of the Airport Authority, was among the losers. He secured 518 votes. When asked if he was disappointed, he said: 'I didn't run with a certainty of winning, but I really don't know how I have lost. But I think all the new people are good.' Another veteran who failed to secure enough support was 78-year-old tycoon Ngai Shiu-kit, who received only 341 of the 896 valid votes. The ousting of the pair highlighted a tendency for voters to choose younger candidates, according to Tsang Hin-chi, who was among those who successfully defended their seats. The marginal defeat of Chinese University orthopaedic professor Leung Ping-chung with 520 votes came as a surprise, considering the relatively high vote he achieved in the first round. Lo Chung-hing, general manager of the Bank of China's Hong Kong branch, was also defeated with 450 votes. Incumbent NPC local deputy Priscilla Lau Pui-king said the voters had adopted the same strategies in both yesterday's and last Friday's poll. In the first round of the election, the voters eliminated the democrats and some other rivals of veteran candidates. This resulted in a surge of support for community leader Wong Siu-yee and non-Beijing allies Dennis Lam Shun-chiu and Raymond Ch'ien Kuo-fung. On the other hand, 11 incumbent NPC local deputies appeared to be at risk when they ranked lower than the crucial 36th position in the pre-election. But in the event, only four were affected. Johnny Lau Yui-siu, a veteran China watcher, said this was due to 'co-ordinating forces' by Beijing backstage. '[In yesterday's poll], some candidates lost more than half the votes they scored in the pre-election, while some at the bottom suddenly jumped to the top. This would lead us to conclude there are co-ordinating forces at the back,' he said. Lee Cho-chak, spokesman for the committee responsible for the election, said the panel members took their task very seriously. 'They have different considerations in choosing 54 finalists and 36 local deputies,' he said.