Next month's district council elections are widely seen as a litmus test of public support for the pan-democratic and pro-establishment camps in the wake of the Occupy protests. More than 930 aspirants for the first citywide elections since the momentous event are on the campaign trail. Pundits are pondering how the aftermath of the 79-day protests will change Hong Kong's political landscape and affect the prospects of candidates from rival camps. Demographic changes among voters and young people's incentive to vote will also affect the fortunes of candidates from the pan-democratic and pro-establishment camps on November 22, according to Ivan Choy Chi-keung, a political analyst at Chinese University who has been monitoring local elections for more than two decades. A record 935 nominations for 431 seats in the district council elections were received by registration deadline on October 15, but about 15 per cent of the seats up for grabs will be uncontested. The pro-establishment parties are fielding 297 candidates, with 171 from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong. In the rival camp, some 178 candidates are running from groups including the Democratic Party, the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood (ADPL) and the Civic Party. The Democrat candidates face contenders from DAB arch-rivals in 46 constituencies. In the 2011 district council elections, the government-friendly camp won 34.5 per cent of the vote, up from 29.6 per cent in 2007. The pan-democrats clinched 33.2 per cent of the total, compared with 27.5 per cent in 2007. Choy said one point to watch will be whether voters punish pan-democrats for the Occupy protests, as the pro-establishment camp has predicted. A Chinese University survey conducted in the first half of October last year found that nearly 38 per cent of 802 respondents aged 15 and above supported the Occupy movement. More than 35 per cent said they did not support the Occupy protests. Support for the civil disobedience movement was particularly significant among young people. The findings marked the height of mass support for the activists and public sympathy has been on the wane in the wake of a growing backlash against the protests. "Although the Occupy protests have spurred political activism and enthusiasm among young people, I'm afraid the pan-democratic candidates will not benefit significantly from the movement," Choy said. Pan-democrats should have every reason to worry about the relatively lukewarm response to the government's voter-registration drive, which closed on July 2. The number of registered voters in the 18-20 age group rose by only 5 per cent - from 106,320 last year to 112,006. For the 21-25 group, the latest figure is 267,548, up 4 per cent. Citywide, 63.3 per cent of the 114,950 new registrations were from people aged 56 or above. Elderly voters are generally considered more likely to be conservative and pro-government - and more inclined to actually vote. In the 2011 district council elections, about 30 per cent of registered voters aged 18 to 20 turned out to vote, compared with 51.7 per cent among those aged 61 to 65. The overall turnout rate in 2011 was 41.5 per cent. "Generally speaking, middle-aged and elderly voters are more negative about the Occupy protests compared with youngsters," Choy said. Forty-two candidates come from new groups who were inspired by the Occupy protesters, and six of them will clash with the Democratic Party, whose candidates are fighting an uphill battle against their pro-establishment rivals. Major candidates from the pro-democracy flagship, including former party chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan, also face competition from radical pan-democratic group Civic Passion. Lok Tsui constituency in Tuen Mun, where Ho is seeking re-election, is one of the key battlegrounds. His five rivals include former Law Society president Junius Ho Kwan-yiu. With Civic Passion's Cheng Chung-tai in the race, the veteran lawmaker could lose support within the camp. Frederick Fung Kin-kee, a legislator from the ADPL, also faces a challenge from former ADPL member Eric Wong Chung-ki. It remains to be seen if Chan Wing-yan, a candidate from the Beijing-loyalist Federation of Trade Unions, will benefit from Wong's entry into the contest. DAB chairwoman Starry Lee Wai-king, who is seeking re-election in To Kwa Wan North in Kowloon City, faces a challenge from Shum Tai-fung, an Occupy activist.