People Power and League of Social Democrats grab votes at double

People Power and League of Social Democrats show their strength in New Territories East as Democratic Party support plunges 43 per cent

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 October, 2016, 2:38pm

Support for radical political groups the League of Social Democrats and People Power nearly doubled in the New Territories East constituency over the past few years, while votes for the Democratic Party almost halved.

The two groups won 86,337 votes in the constituency in total in the Legislative Council poll on Sunday - nearly twice the 44,763 votes that the league's "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung secured in the previous 2008 election, before People Power was formed.

The new group was set up last year after two lawmakers, Wong Yuk-man and Albert Chan Wai-yip, split from the league.

It made a breakthrough by grabbing one new seat in New Territories East, to add to its current seats in Kowloon West and New Territories West.

In contrast, the Democratic Party lost two of its three New Territories East seats in this year's election, with its support plunging 42.8 per cent to 68,185 votes.

People Power's Raymond Chan Chi-chuen won with 38,042 votes, even more than another winner, veteran Democrat lawmaker Emily Lau Wai-hing, who got 37,039 votes.

The South China Morning Post analysis of the election results showed Raymond Chan fared better than the other Democrat slates particularly in Tai Po, where he secured 7,492 votes - 44.2 per cent more than Lau and about three times more than Democrats Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong and incumbent Wong Sing-chi.

While Raymond Chan grabbed 6,886 votes in North district, Wong, based in North district for more than two decades, scored 9,138 - a loss of 6,400 on his 2008 result.

The Post also found that Chan won support from both the grassroots who lived in public housing and the better-off, as shown by the analysis of polling station results released by the Registration and Electoral Office on Thursday.

Despite a keener contest, Leung won more votes in all four districts - North district, Tai Po, Sai Kung and Sha Tin - in New Territories East than in the previous election.

Crowned "the King of ballots" in the area, he netted 48,295 votes, 7.8 per cent more than four years ago and the highest in the constituency.

Ma Ngok, associate professor at the Chinese University's department of government and public administration, said People Power's supporters crossed social strata.

"Although the votes secured by Wong Sing-chi dropped, we do not know for whom his former supporters voted this time. They might have voted for someone other than Raymond Chan," Ma said.

He said he believed Raymond Chan performed worse than Lau in Sai Kung and Sha Tin, probably due to fierce competition there.

James Tien Pei-chun, who stood in the same constituency in 2008 but was defeated, received 31,016 votes this time, 7.4 per cent up from the 28,875 votes he received in the 2008 poll.

While Tien saw his share of votes drop in Sha Tin, Sai Kung, and Tai Po districts, it increased 56.7 per cent to 6,418 in North District from 4,094 in 2008.

Some of those who parachuted into the geographical constituencies also managed to win seats. In Kowloon East constituency, Paul Tse Wai-chun, nonaffiliated but widely regarded as pro-government, received 38,546 votes, almost two-thirds of them from Kwun Tong district.

Chan Kam-lam, his fellow government-friendly candidate in the constituency, received 47,415 votes, down 11.33 per cent from the 53,472 votes he grabbed in the 2008 election.