Last year, pro-China groups were caught wrong-footed about “a silent majority” who supposedly opposed the violent protests and mayhem against the central and local governments. For that, they were almost wiped out at the district council elections in November. This year, though, it may be the opposition’s turn to make a fatal miscalculation about popular sentiments, which in this case, includes the supposed widespread rejection of the impending national security law . Their ambition to win more than half of the seats in the Legislative Council elections in September may need to be significantly scaled back. First of all, no side or party, as well as the Hong Kong government, can take any public support or opposition for granted. The political pendulum swings left and right, back and forth, in every polity; Hong Kong is no exception. Calls for strike, class boycott fail to win enough support in security law poll The November election landslide for the opposition now feels like an eternity ago, after the health and economic devastations from Covid-19, while many election winners, who rode to victory on the strength of their anti-government credentials, have proved to be worse than useless doing, or rather not doing, district-level work. Some 2.93 million people signed a petition late last month in support of the national security legislation during an eight-day campaign organised by pro-China groups. Say half of those signatures were fake or otherwise questionable; it was still a lot of signatures. Meanwhile, more than two dozen anti-government unions and student groups have failed to garner enough support to hold citywide strikes against the national security legislation. They have billed the campaign as “a referendum”. Does this mean they now recognise that the public accepts the looming legislation? If not, what kind of vote is this if they only accept the result they want? The opposition groups now planning for the September elections are caught in a serious dilemma. They can rally support by going against the security law. In that case, they risk being disqualified or worse. Or they can ignore it as the biggest elephant in the room, in which case they have no big issue to rally around like they did with the mass protests last year against the now-abandoned extradition draft law. There is, of course, the very real possibility that people may actually prefer to have a security law if they think it could restore law, order, social stability and the economy. Suddenly, the September Legco elections don’t look so rosy for the opposition.