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New political forces emerging from last year’s pro-democracy Umbrella Movement won eight seats in the district council elections on Sunday as traditionally strong parties from both sides of the political divide suffered some surprise defeats.

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Photo: GovHK.

A total of 47 percent of three million registered voters came out to cast their ballot – a higher turnout than the two previous elections in 2011 and 2007.

The logos of District Councils. Photo: Wikicommons, Stand News and Gov HK.
The logos of District Councils. Photo: Wikicommons, Stand News and Gov HK.

Often called “Umbrella Soldiers”, more than 50 fresh faces from young political parties founded a year or less ago took part in the races.

In Tai Hang, Wan Chai, “Umbrella Soldier” Clarisse Yeung Suet-ying beat Wong Ching-chi of the pro-Beijing’s New People’s Party.

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Yeung speaking on TV after winning in Tai Hang, Wan Chai. Photo: TVB screenshot.

Speaking after the results came out, Yeung said she was overjoyed. “It was totally a surprise. I believe in the power of democracy, and I believe there will be surprises in the districts. I thank voters for giving me this opportunity, I promise I will use it well,” she said.

DAB lawmaker Chris Chung Shu-kun was defeated by “Umbrella Soldier” Chui Chi-kin. Fellow DAB veteran Elizabeth Quat was unseated by the Labour Party’s Yip Wing, who is bound by a wheelchair, in Chung On, Sha Tin.

DAB, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, is the biggest pro-Beijing party in the city.

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Photo: LegCo.

The Democratic Party, one of the biggest pro-democracy parties, also suffered some unexpected losses.

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Junius Ho and his team celebrate success.

Lawmaker Albert Ho Chun-yan, who was running for Hong Kong’s top government office in 2012, lost to former Law Society president Junius Ho Kwan-yiu.

The Democratic Party's Albert Ho
The Democratic Party’s Albert Ho. Photo: HKFP.

Their constituency was one of the most contested with six people vying for one seat.

Meanwhile, the more radical forces in the pan-democrat camp, including People Power and League of Social Democrats, also performed badly. People Power, led by lawmakers Albert Chan Wai-yip, suffered nine losses out of ten, while all five of the LSD’s candidates were defeated.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that People Power was also headed by Raymond Wong Yuk-man. In fact, Wong resigned from the party in 2013.

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.