Election day, Tsuen Wan…
Ever since Hong Kong’s Legislative Council started having direct elections for some seats 25 years ago, the Chinese Communist Party’s local United Front machine has been active in trying to maximize the pro-Beijing vote. But its coordinating, micro-management and plain interference seem to have been unprecedented this time round – not least through its new behind-the-scenes influence over the city’s once-impartial civil-service electoral functions. So the election results should be seen as pre-rigged, with the outcome artificially tilted 5% or 10% or whatever in favour of pro-Beijing candidates.
This translates into a clear ‘win’ for the pro-democracy camp, in terms of at least maintaining their share of the total vote and keeping veto power in the chamber. Going by the results dribbling in at mid-morning…
There has been a pretty decisive shift away from traditional mainstream and radical pro-democrats to younger localists. This was amplified by pan-dem voters’ late-in-the-day acquisition of tactical voting skills, after some of the multitude of their candidates ‘dropped out’ and asked supporters to back someone else. If anything, pan-dem voters over-compensated and gave unnecessarily large boosts to apparently borderline candidates.
(This voluntary herding presumably contributed to the long queues at certain polling stations in middle-class neighbourhoods late last night. It’s tempting to see official voter-suppression at work, but we could be charitable and say it looked too successful to be deliberate.)
This means some of the old guard now fade away. It is hard to lament the loss of, say, the ever-depressing Lee Cheuk-yan – whose morose loyalty to lost causes looked more like abused-spouse syndrome. (Looks like Long Hair might just make it.) Some of the new faces have provocative things to say about land and even heritage issues. The others at least promise to be unpredictable. Will they prove any better than the older generation at unity and discipline?
Although there was an increase in voter turnout, it was pretty minor. It would be good to see a breakdown by age. It may be that the young did not turn out in particularly higher numbers than in the past. The CCP may be thankful for this – though if I were them, I would be worried.
Live updates here.
In any other country, “traditional mainstream radicals” would be an oxymoron, if not an impossibility.
Thanks for this accurate, comprehensive and fair-minded survey. But aren’t you too hard on Lee Cheuk-yan? You too would be “depressing” if you’d gone through the same hopeless travails.
I’m glad to be able to report that I voted, relatively early in the day, but nevertheless tactically:
(a) for Long Hair (although projected by HKFP at 9.10 to lose);
(b) but not for James To, who seemed to have too many votes (HKFP strangely describes him as neck-to-neck with Wong Kwok-hing, despite having a 1000 ahead).
Yes, it’s a — perhaps surprising — victory for the forces of sweetness and light. The only worry is whether the localists will be disciplined enough to turn up for vital knife-edge votes.
At least in Stanley they had a special queue for the Europeans…no queue at all in fact. I love the little tick marker they give you, in case you can’t write. I made the usual vomit sounds passing the DAB stalls. I also exhorted the Regina Ip supporters to have some pride in themselves and ditch the Leather Strapon Lady. All in all, I did my bit.
Do you have elections, Mr Deng?
Yes. Every morning.
Well, I voted for “green” (in both senses of the word) Eddie Chu in NT West. He was one of the few candidates who sent me campaign literature in coherent English (or any English for that matter.) Liked his platform, liked his naive sincerity but thought he had less than zero chance of getting in and was worried my vote would be wasted. Voted f0r him anyway. AND HE WON!!! Bet some of the rural bigshots will be tugging their perms out this morning.
“Now TV also reported that elderly people in Pat Heung, a rural area in Yuen Long, were driven to polling stations in four-seater and seven-seater private cars. Drivers were seen wearing the uniforms of pro-Beijing candidate Leung Che-cheung’s campaign team….Some elderly people told Now TV that they did not recognise the numbers or the faces of the candidates that they had voted for.”
Don’t give up your part time day job.
You make Nutacchi seem like Louis CK.
It’s a good thing that Hong Kong does not have absentee ballots, otherwise we’d have the comatose and the dead voting.
Voting looked fine at my voting station on Hong Kong island. I did search for a DAB free issue of beer, in exchange for a vote, *cough*, but it seems the Communists have not yet embraced such capitalist depravity. (They’d probably offer Blue Girl.)
I voted for Cyd Ho’s list, despite her serial pan-dem splittist tendencies over the years, honestly she’s more the problem than the solution, but still a democrat with a sliver of a chance to edge out a shoeshiner. El Cyd did not bad with 20k votes but not enough. Never mind, worth trying.
I voted 803 Kwong Chun-yu for the super seat. Still no news if he’ll make it but if he does, I want to see his next novel: “Love in the Chamber”? “Shafting the Establishment in a harmonious spirit”. If he doesn’t get kidnapped first…
At the end of the day, I see no change. The pro-government parties are holding their ground, whilst the young localists types have made gains and the old-school pro-dems have taken a hit. LEE Cheuk-yan’s departure is a bit of a surprise, but not Cyd HO. She’s done nothing of meaning in years. Meanwhile, the Mad Dog will need to go and bark elsewhere.
I liked Eddie Chu’s platform — he’d be a great candidate in a functioning democracy or at the District Council, but I reckon fixing the big things first like democracy and post-2047 is more important — so I went for Civic Passion’s (now leader) Cheng Chung-tai — he was polled as being more likely than the Youngspiration lad.
Last time I refused the Rotten Boroughs ballot, but given the general miasma of underhand tactics by the government this time around, I felt it was probably safer (albeit much less fun) to just accept and spoil it.
Good to see localists take a lot of votes, but it’s not so comforting to see that mild-mannered Hong Kong apparently still thinks we should elect people who believe they can reason with the CPC and their triad cohorts: good luck with that.
But the huge boost for localism and the rejection of the frankly toothless “old seafood” of the Pan Dems should at the very least upset and annoy the CPC, and perhaps I’m still underestimating the power of the weedy middle class student… I hope so for Hong Kong’s sake.
Also re NT West:
High Point: Great to see the apparently genuine grass-roots government supporters’ list polling dead last.
Low Point: Dubious “Threaten-the-other-candidate’s-family-with-triad-attacks-til-they-drop-out” Ho scraped in, (although it is amusing to see that this methodology got a localist elected in his mainstream rival’s stead). If only Hong Kong hadsome sort of independent commission against corruption, eh? Dubious would be in jail instead of LegCo.
Low Point’s Silver Lining: The name Dubious Ho is total comedy gold.
I also voted for Eddie Chu in NT West as “reductio” said he did write me a fairly comprehensible leaflet in English and he came to Lamma (YSW) last week and introduced himself to my wife (from the Philippines and a voter) who also thanked him for his leaflet. It turned out that he got 327 votes from North Lamma , 24.6% of all who were qualified to vote. No wonder our local District Councillor Yu Lai Fan (DAB) was spotted scowling visibly as she watched all the gweilos and other “foreigners” dutifully trooping into the polling station to cast their votes!
@ LRE Ha ha. Dubious Ho.
Agree that seeing Regina land 60k of votes is very poor for (mostly) smart old Hong Kong. In a proper democracy she would have likely won the Hong Kong seat – grimmest thought of the day.
Yeah for Eddie!!!! He got my vote for all the reasons mentioned above, Lovely chap!
Worrying that HK island’s most popular politician is Regina.
Shameful that in my office I apparently was the only person to vote; help get me out of here.
HK free press coverage better than SCMP
I have seen “Dubious” in action; on occasion he would not be out of place in the cultural revolution.
Chu Hoi-dick’s a smart guy. I met him several years ago, around the time of the XRL protests. He understands the land racket, in great depth. In another life, he might have been a professor of social geography.
It looks like the anti-establishment forces are on their way to 29, perhaps even 30 seats. We couldn’t have hoped for a better result despite Beijing’s interference and the blundering mess of democrats and localists. I did laugh out loud when Zimmerman said that it’s a good thing the voters are more organized than the candidates. Coming from you, Mr. Attention-seeker McBeardface, the man who ran a wholly unnecessary campaign in an already-crowded district, that’s more than a little rich.
Having been glued to the Internet for hours and consulting her friends on tactical voting the missus gave me a slip of paper with the two numbers I was to vote for. Then slipping me into my bath-chair and promising me a bribe of ice-old amber joy if I voted the right way we made it to our NT West polling station where I apparently voted for the Social Democratic Party johnny in the geographical constituency and the Democratic chap for the super constituency. She was going to get me to vote for that splendid young spark, Eddie Chu, but when it was looking obvious he was in for a big win she decided to change our votes for underdog PanDems.
The point of my rambling is that tactical working really did seem to work.
What would Vagina Ip (70) look like naked and without make-up ? Answers on a postcard. The most creative submission wins a copy of “Dr” Adams (PhD, summa cum loudly) new book, if it ever gets published.
Dubious Ho Speaks
A humble Christian with an open mind,
A Hakka person born and bred in Hong Kong,
Law Society President for two years,
China Appointed Attesting Officer,
Member of the Tuen Mun District Council –
I have put the focus of my work
On livelihood and the environment,
And always will endeavour to improve
Education, social welfare, transport
For grass roots, rurals, and the middle classes.
But, my friends, are you not dismayed
By what is happening? Filibusters
Breaking down the process of our laws.
Flouters of the law who occupied
The city streets till we were all exhausted.
Mobsters in Mongkok creating chaos.
They are dragging Hong Kong through the mud.
With your help, I will Set Things Right.
I will uphold the Basic Law; and stand
Firm against ideas of separatism.
I will empower our law enforcement agencies
To raise efficiency and confidence
To do their duty: maintaining law and order.
I will protect the rights and interests
Of all indigenous inhabitants
Of the New Territories, and review
The Small House policy to permit…
And so on and so forth. I will uphold
The values and traditions of the family;
And marriage between two persons of the same sex
I oppose. Finally, I repeat
My slogan: Set Things Right. And I thank
All readers of this blog who voted for me.
[drawn from his campaign leaflet, which was bilingual]
Breakdown of voters by age can be seen here. Nothing suspicious at all, needless to say!