Police yesterday brushed aside allegations of vote-rigging as they fended off a challenge from anti-globalisation protesters to be named personalities of the year for 2005 in a poll of RTHK listeners. The police won more than 62 per cent of votes in the Radio Three 'person of the year' contest, while the South Korean farmers they battled during the December World Trade Organisation ministerial meeting finished second. In the early days of the poll last week, the farmers had been neck and neck with police, but the police streamed ahead after e-mails were sent out by officers to friends and contacts outside the force urging them to stop the protesters from winning. The demonstrators, who won over many Hongkongers with their cause if not their tactics, ended up with slightly more than 30 per cent of votes, while Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen and former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang were third and fourth, respectively, with just over 2 per cent each. An expatriate officer who gave his name as Dave even e-mailed the Backchat show where the final votes were collected yesterday morning, asking for his vote to be added to the police tally. One panellist said the police tactics had skewed the vote. Asked whether police had voted for themselves, police spokesman Chief Superintendent Alfred Ma Wai-luk, who accepted the award on the force's behalf, laughed and said: 'I have no comment on that.' Mr Ma said of the protesters: 'I think they have done a good job in promoting themselves but at the end of the day the way they behaved was way out of order and we didn't expect it to happen that way.'