Turnout for the July 1 march could be as low as 50,000, a tenth of the number of people who packed the streets for the protests in the past two years, a social activist fears. A pro-democracy lawmaker is a little more optimistic, estimating 100,000 could demonstrate. Both cite an easing of public discontent after Tung Chee-hwa's resignation as chief executive and a lack of burning issues. Two years ago more than 500,000 people marched to register their disapproval of government plans to introduce an anti-subversion law. The Civil Human Rights Front claimed 530,000 people joined the pro-democracy march on July 1 last year to demand universal suffrage, although police put the figure at 200,000. This year, the themes are the fight for universal suffrage and opposition to collusion between the government and business. But with just six weeks to go before the rally, there are worrying signs for organisers. Last month, just 1,500 people turned up for a march to protest against the interpretation of the Basic Law by the National People's Congress Standing Committee on the length of the next chief executive's term. To add to its problems, the Civil Human Rights Front, which organises the July 1 rallies, has yet to secure insurance despite approaching several companies. Pro-democracy legislator Lee Cheuk-yan admitted that Mr Tung's resignation in March had removed a crucial trigger for people to take to the streets to vent their anger. 'The high popularity of Donald Tsang Yam-kuen is also unfavourable for mobilising people to take part in the march,' Mr Lee said. 'To be frank, the turnout for the forthcoming march will be not as big as the rallies in 2003 and last year.' He estimated that about 100,000 people would turn out. Another pro-democracy lawmaker, Leung Yiu-chung, said he was not optimistic about the turnout. 'Many people may think they have got what they wanted after Mr Tung's departure and do not see the need for joining another march,' he said. Sources close to the Civil Human Rights Front, which represents more than 50 pro-democracy organisations, said turnout on July 1 was likely to be down from the past two marches if no crucial political issues emerged in the next few weeks. Chung Chung-fai, convenor of the front's working group on democratic development, said that when applying this month for a letter of no objection for the rally the group told the police it thought about 50,000 people would join the march. But Front convenor Chong Yiu-kwong said it was too early to predict the turnout. He felt it would depend on political developments in the run-up to July 1. And Mr Lee, who is also the secretary-general of the Confederation of Trade Unions, said a sense of solidarity among the marchers would motivate many people to take part.