The pan-democratic camp’s victory in the professional subsectors of the committee that will elect Hong Kong’s next leader in March underscores the growing discontent of the city’s professional elites with the government, academics in Hong Kong and Beijing said. The camp seized 326 of the 1,194 seats in Sunday’s Election Committee polls, compared with 205 in 2011. It took clean sweeps in the legal, education, higher education, health services, IT and welfare subsectors. Pro-democracy camp takes record quarter of seats on Election Committee that will choose Hong Kong’s leader In 2011 pan-democrats and their allies only got nine out of 30 seats in health, and 20 of 30 in IT. In Sunday’s elections, pan-democrats also won landslide victories in the accountancy and architectural and surveying subsectors, grabbing at least half of the seats in the engineering and medical subsectors. In the architecture and surveying subsector, Housing Society chairman Marco Wu Moon-hoi won a seat with the lowest number of votes among the 30 winners in the sector. Five years ago Wu, a core supporter of Leung Chun-ying won the most votes in the subsector. Pan-democrats also won three seats in the Chinese medicine subsector, the first time they managed to clinch any seats there. The Election Committee is composed of 38 subsectors. Unlike business subsectors, which are dominated by corporate voters, seats in subsectors like legal, medical and accounting are returned by votes from individual members in their respective professions. More would have voted in Election Committee polls if CY Leung hadn’t bowed out, think tank vice-chairman says Tian Feilong, an associate professor in the law school at Beihang University in Beijing, said most voters in professional subsectors backing pan-democrats was an indication of the professional elite’s backlash against Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. “Leung is known for his tough governing style and is not adept at communicating with various sectors,” Tian said. Ma Ngok, a political scientist at Chinese University, said the wins for pan-democrats in almost all professional subsectors returned by individual votes reflected strong middle-class discontent. “They are unhappy with the government and current political system,” he said. “The next administration should find ways to rebuild the professionals’ confidence towards the government.” Ivan Choy Chi-keung, another political scientist at Chinese University, said pan-democrats’ victories in professional subsectors showed that the days when Hong Kong professionals only cared for the interests of their respective sectors are gone. “The basis of the governance in Hong Kong would be undermined if Beijing does not take measures to address the alienation of professionals in Hong Kong,” he said. Election Committee still has an influence on choice of future leader Tian also noted the record turnout of the polls reflected professionals’ desire for a faster pace of democracy in the city. A record 46.5 per cent of eligible voters cast their ballots on Sunday. He said: “Professionals in Hong Kong have a stronger desire to have a bigger say in the selection of the next chief executive, governance and the central government’s policies towards Hong Kong.” The strong pan-democrat performance continued a trend of the camp getting an upper hand in some functional constituencies in September’s Legislative Council elections, when liberal-minded scholar Edward Yiu Chung-yim unseated pro-establishment Tony Tse Wai-chuen in the architectural and surveying sector, winning 43.4 per cent of the vote. It was the first time since the handover in 1997 that the functional constituency had gone to a pan-democrat.