But police say they will not count the turnout for the demonstration More than 20,000 protesters are expected to gather in Victoria Park on January 1 to demand increased democracy and power to the people. But organisers say the turnout for the march, which will also centre on livelihood issues, will not necessarily reflect the level of support for the cause as people have already voiced their discontent with the government in last month's district council elections. Police have said they will not count the turnout for the demonstration, unlike on July 1, when 500,000 people took to the streets to protest against the government and the proposed national security legislation. Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong, spokesman for the Civil Human Rights Front, which is organising the march, admitted public anger had gradually diminished after July 1 as the government had shelved the security legislation and unpopular ministers had resigned. But the basic demand for the introduction of universal suffrage and an improvement in the administration remained strong and generally supported by the public. This would be another chance for the people to speak their minds, Mr Tsoi said. More than one million voters cast their ballots in last month's elections, leading to a huge victory for pro-democracy candidates. Dozens of political, social and religious groups are expected to take part in the New Year's Day demonstration. While church leaders such as Catholic Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, who led the pre-march prayer on July 1, will not attend this time, hundreds of Christians will gather for a pre-march prayer in Victoria Park. The march will start from the park and end with a rally outside the Central Government Offices. To avoid disruption to traffic in Causeway Bay, police and organisers have agreed to improve co-ordination on road closures. Father Louis Ha Ke-loon, director of the Catholic Social Communication Office, who will help lead the prayers, said turnout could be higher than expected if people still thought the government was not listening to their demands. But Li Pang-kwong, a political scientist at Lingnan University, said: 'Even if only 5,000 people turn up, it cannot be taken as a reflection of public sentiment as the clearest indication was in the elections. We have seen that last month, and the final battle will be in the forthcoming Legco election.'