A turnout rate of 96.92%…

…for the District Council election’s ‘District Committees constituency’. It seems they comprise less than 2,500 voters, all government-appointed, and get to choose 176 council members. Winning candidates (apparently most of them) all received surprisingly similar votes – around 80-150 each. Maybe this is what happens when no-one has ever heard of any of them.

Although RTHK sees the 96% figure as worth reporting, officials say the turnout for the 88 popularly elected seats doesn’t matter, or is influenced by nice weather, or by overall public satisfaction. As of 7.30pm, it had reached 24.5% (compared with the 71% total when the polls closed in 2019). In one place, less than one voter a minute for much of the day. Then a technological ‘glitch’ forced poll workers to switch to manual paper records – so as of 7.30 this morning we don’t know either the final results (though we can predict that no opposition figures won) or turnout. (Shatin East had declared results.)

Conspiracy theorists might suspect an excuse to lengthen polling hours or otherwise ramp up the turnout number. Cynics will say the embarrassment of a computer breakdown after such lavish promotional efforts suggests plain incompetence (a task force will investigate). Others may simply see a metaphor.

There were arrests. Seventy-seven-year-old Koo Sze-yiu, for planning to protest against the election system. ‘Sedition’, apparently. Several people for allegedly encouraging others to spoil ballots. And LSD members, who also planned a protest.

While the long lines of voters seen in 2019 were absent, the candidates took the whole thing almost absurdly seriously. Found on the sidewalk in the afternoon, Angel Pang’s last-minute plea for votes…

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19 Responses to A turnout rate of 96.92%…

  1. Reactor #4 says:

    Anyway, I voted. Crucially, when ‘Social Credit’ scoring is formally introduced, I won’t have “nul points” in the ‘December 2023 election’ column.

  2. Natasha Fatale says:

    So 24.5% of the electorate are 100% cowed into submission. Good to know.

  3. Pharell Williams says:

    The overtime gods are smiling on the HK Police again!

  4. It was a perfect, beautiful election says:

    Where’s Rudy Giuliani when you really need him?

  5. Young Winston says:

    Angel Pang is an “image consultant” according to HKFP.

  6. And EAC boss is in charge of the EAC investigation Task Force says:

    Conspiracy theorists might also add that the glitch provided much-needed fog around the actual (embarrassingly low) turnout rate, preventing that becoming the story at 10:35pm. Better to say “we’re incompetent” than “barely a quarter of the population GAF”?
    Conspiracy theorists are also on the blower to the Lone Gunmen about the Yau Tsim Mong results – the “ethnic minority” candidates didn’t just lose, they were *obliterated* by an unknown “independent” mainland “community officer”. Although I’m somewhat bleary-eyed from refreshing the results until 3am before giving up until a 6am wake up call so may have that wrong.

  7. Lo Wu Vuitton says:

    If all the patriots voted yesterday -and of course they did- then we can safely conclude that 75% of the electorate is not patriotic.

  8. Load Toad says:

    I’d be very interested to know how many tax dollars per vote…..were wasted on this farce.

  9. Mary Melville says:

    Surely the most striking images one takes from the process, apart from the complete lack of sex appeal of the candidates other than a comely lass running in Wanchai – she lost – are the demographics. Lots of elderlies and folk living over the border.
    Where were the tax payers who funded the multi million dollar exercise and will again bear the recurring burden of rice bowling the lap sap they voted out in 2019?
    Was hoping for some light relief, like an elderly embrace dislodging Chris Sun’s hair piece, but it was an unremittingly dour exercise.

  10. Getting out the veto says:

    Perhaps the best way of framing the turnout is the number of people who actually went to vote yesterday is more or less the same as the number of people who didn’t bother to vote in 2019.

    @Load Toad
    From what I’ve heard, the “go and vote campaign” cost about $1.1bn or $1,000 per vote. That covers, banners and ads galore, fireworks etc.

    The real figure is obviously a lot higher as there will be the remunerations for the government-appointed 2,454 voters on the 176 members from three committees (and those three committees’ members will also have to be paid), the electoral nomination committee members (many of whom ran for office), and of course the salaries for the 470 patriots who will do nothing to actually run the district councils other than line their own pockets with dodgy contracts. And the expenses such as forcing the civil service to vote and trucking in old folk and so on as loyalist voters. Then there’s the salaries of all the folk who planned and implemented the whole shebang.

    And realistically we have to factor in the fact that most of the political parties still allowed in HK are obviously government-funded through the United Front Work Department.

  11. Gall up says:

    And here we are. The only news that matters is the ‘election’ turnout, representing the level of public support for the government. All the ‘campaigning’ and incentive gimmicks from authorities, and especially their blather that the number voting doesn’t matter (but it’s everyone’s civic duty to vote) – or HKers care more about Legco, or DCs are only advisory, or the weather was warmer or cooler or more normal than usual – boils down to this number. And the result is a spectacularly poor 27.54 percent.

  12. Turnout turns out wrong says:

    Re: RTHK’s touted turnout rate of 96.92%

    There are 2,454 voters.
    96.92% of 2,454 is 2,378.4168 people showing up to vote.

    2,378 of 2,454 is 96.9030154849226% or 96.90%
    2,379 of 2,454 is 96.9437652811736% or 96.94%

    At least respect the public enough to fudge the figures believably.

  13. seedy tabloid journo Mike Lowse says:

    Yesterday’s Hong Kong elections are the laughingstock of the international press.

  14. asiaseen says:

    Any whisper on how many spoiled ballots there were?

  15. Chinese Netizen says:

    And in other so-called election news, Vlad the Inhaler expressed interest in standing for yet another (patriots only, I’m sure) “election” to further guide Mother Russia to final glory. Perhaps with the complicity of Trump next year.

  16. Gall up says:

    @Seedy Mike

    For sure, to wit:
    “turnout plunges” (AP)
    “’birdcage’ election” (Reuters)
    “voters turn their backs” (CNN)
    “Lowest-Ever Turnout with Dissent Banned” (AFP / France24 / VOA)
    “Arrests, Low Turnout” (Time)
    ‘It’s just a show’ (Guardian)
    “Turnout Hits Record Low After China Purge”; “residents snubbed a system lacking political diversity” (Bloomberg)
    “Meaningful opposition .. is being eliminated” (UK Foreign Office)

  17. HK-Cynic says:

    The turnout was even lower if you presume that turnout was well above 50% for the 170,000 who work in the Civil Service, who probably had fears of losing their jobs in the future if they didn’t turn out. i.e. – “why not ‘vote’, just in case?”

    Agree with asiaseen – want to know how many spoiled votes there are. Once again, I’d presume that a high proportion of the spoiled votes are by the same voters who were “coerced” into voting for job protection reasons…

  18. Mary Melville says:

    District Council Ordinary Election District Council geographical constituency election voter turnout
    A total of 1,193,193 registered electors have cast their votes in the 2023 District Council Ordinary Election as at midnight on December 10, representing a cumulative turnout rate of about 27.54 per cent.

    The voter turnout figures are for temporary reference only.

    Ends/Monday, December 11, 2023

    When you tot up the votes per candidate the total is 1,171,148.
    This indicates that there were 22,045 invalid or spoilt votes

  19. Gall up says:


    Or 1.8% of cast ballots were spoiled, for those still fumbling for the calculator.

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