As the nomination period of the District Council election ended on Thursday, 66 constituencies were uncontested. Pro-Beijing parties secured 35 uncontested seats, with the rest going to local pro-Beijing groups or independent candidates. None are held by the pan-democrats.

With the increase of the total number of seats to 431 from 412 in the last election in 2011, and a record-high 951 nominations, the uncontested constituencies that the pro-Beijing camp grabbed dropped from 76 to 66. They will be automatically elected if their nominations were confirmed.

Ultimately, the DAB party claimed 20 seats, followed by the New People’s Party, with seven seats, and the Federation of Trade Unions (FTU) which won six. The Liberal Party were unchallenged in two. Only two lawmakers, Alice Mak Mei-kuen and Kwok Wai-keung, both of FTU, were uncontested. Former China Liaison Office top official Wong Chun-ping‘s seat was also uncontested.

Pro-Beijing parties which have won uncontested seats.
Pro-Beijing parties which have won uncontested seats. Photo: HKFP.

Low chance of winning

Some originally uncontested candidates from the pro-Beijing camp saw new challengers on the last day of the nomination period, including DAB lawmakers Starry Lee Wai-king and Christopher Chung Shu-kun, and FTU lawmaker Tang Ka-piu.

Chinese University politics professor Ma Ngok told Apple Daily that he believed people did not want to see pro-Beijing camp candidates being automatically elected, thus joined the race on the last day. But he added that the challengers have a low chance of winning.

Campaign posters of Albert Ho
Campaign posters of Albert Ho. Photo: Kris Cheng/HKFP.

Difficult election

Ma also told the newspaper that pan-democrats will be facing a difficult election as they will race against the pro-Beijing camp, and also pro-democracy candidates, namely the “Umbrella Soldiers” and Civic Passion.

Incumbent district councillor Albert Ho Chun-yan of Lok Tsui constituency in Tuen Mun will be challenged by five other candidates, the largest opposition, including Junius Ho Kwan-yiu, Yuen Wai-chung, Cheung Wing-wai, Cheng Chung-tai and Shum Kam-tim.

Ma added that number of votes for pan-democrats would decrease in such constituencies, and they would face a higher risk of losing.

Voters supporting pan-democrats should focus on voting for the candidates with a higher chance of winning to preserve the few seats they have, he said.

Ma added that the discussions about the pro-democracy Occupy protests last year has calmed down. He said this may not be an important factor for the election anymore.

Contested on last day

Starry Lee will be contested by Shum Tai-fung and Lam Yi-lai in the To Kwa Wan North constituency of the Kowloon City District.

Christopher Chung will challenged by Chui Chi-kin in the Yue Wan constituency in the Eastern District.

Tang Ka-piu will up against by Leung Hon-wai in the Yat Tung Estate North constituency in the Islands District.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.