DAB and Liberals make strides in geographical seats to limit democrats' gains The pro-democracy camp won only 25 of the 60 Legislative Council seats in Sunday's election, a result Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa yesterday described as 'good and comfortable'. Despite a record turnout of 55.63 per cent, the democratic camp, with more than 60 per cent of total votes, suffered surprise losses in Hong Kong Island and the New Territories, winning only 18 of the 30 directly elected seats. Four of the six new directly elected seats were grabbed by pro-government candidates, leaving the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong the biggest political party in Legco, with a fifth of the seats. The democratic camp raised its strength in the business-dominated functional constituencies from five to seven. Nonetheless, its 25 seats - only three more than in the previous legislature - is significantly fewer than its pre-poll target of half or close to half the 60 seats. The result will give the government the upper hand on political issues, some analysts say. But it may not find it easy to gain cross-party support on livelihood matters because of the vast differences among the main groupings. The biggest surprise was pro-democracy candidate Cyd Ho Sau-lan's 815-vote loss to the DAB's Choy So-yuk on Hong Kong Island, the result of a last-minute panic by the Democratic Party - which feared its former leader Martin Lee Chu-ming was in danger of losing. He took crucial votes away from Ms Ho. The polls also delivered seats to three mavericks who are expected to enliven debate in the chamber. Veteran protester Leung Kwok-hung won in New Territories East with 60,925 votes. Chim Pui-chung, forced out of Legco when he was jailed for forgery, made a successful comeback in the financial services sector. Staunch government critic and former radio host Albert Cheng King-hon won in Kowloon East. Commenting on the election's outcome, Mr Tung said: 'This is a good election result ... We should all be very comfortable and proud of the results. They represent different sectors of our community with different views and quite rightly so. 'We look forward to working closely with every one of them.' The DAB will be the largest voting bloc in Legco, with 12 members, after surprisingly winning nine directly elected seats. The Liberal Party came second, with 10 seats, including, for the first time, two directly elected seats, won by James Tien Pei-chun, the party's leader, and Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee. It was the first time the party had contested geographical constituencies. The Democratic Party won nine seats, all but two directly elected. Mr Tung said he would be making arrangements to meet all the new legislators and aimed to reach a conclusion soon on the makeup of the Executive Council. In Beijing, the deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Chen Zuoer, described the election as the most democratic in Hong Kong history. He called on the winners to be faithful to the oaths they swear to uphold the Basic Law and to contribute responsibly to prosperity and stability. Democratic Party chairman Yeung Sum said the democratic camp's 60 per cent-plus share of the vote showed the vast majority of people supported direct election for all legislative seats and the chief executive at the earliest opportunity. The US consulate said the record turnout was an impressive affirmation of the people's commitment to advancing the democratic process.