Pro-democracy Civic Party candidate Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu is the favourite to win Sunday’s New Territories East by-election, according to the Hong Kong University Public Opinion Programme (HKUPOP).

The poll was commissioned by radio station D100, according to Apple Daily. Yeung is currently leading with 24 per cent of respondents supporting his candidacy. Holden Chow Ho-ding, of the pro-establishment DAB, came in second at 20 percent.

Alvin Yeung
File Photo: Alvin Yeung.

Hong Kong Indigenous’ Edward Leung Tin-kei came in third with 12 percent, independent Christine Fong Kwok-shan was fourth with 11 percent. 15 percent of respondents said that they were undecided.

In total, 506 eligible voters were interviewed by phone between Monday and Tuesday. Around 34 percent were found to support the pan-democratic camp, 35 percent were neutral, and 10 percent supported the pro-establishment camp.

Candidate’s debate ‘superficial’

Ronny Tong Kah-wah, the former Legislative Council member who represented New Territories East, said in a Facebook post Friday that the candidates’ political debate on Thursday was “superficial”. The candidates were relying on “cheapshots” to win the debate, he said, even with such limited speaking times allotted.

Ronny Tong Ka-wah
Ronny Tong Ka-wah. File Photo: Stand News.

Instead of speaking about politics, he said, the candidates were asking each other questions viewers already know the answer to.

“Everyone knows that Holden Chow supports [Chief Executive] Leung Chun-ying…and everybody also knows that Alvin Yeung will provide legal assistance for protesters at the Mong Kok unrest,” he said.

Clashes in Mong Kok broke out over the government clearing of street hawkers earlier this month, resulting in over 73 arrests as of Friday.

“Why not try to use the time to talk about their own political beliefs and ambitions or [respond to] important issues, such as how to effectively achieve democracy, how to improve upon the quality of governance, so that the Legislative Council can better fulfil its purpose and provide clear discourse on questions that citizens urgently want an answer to?” he asked.

by-election new territories east
Candidates Holden Chow Ho-ding, Christine Fong Kwong-shan, Edward Leung Tin-kei, and Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu. /Wong Yiu-hing.

The New Territories East by-election will be held on Sunday. The candidates include Lau Chi-Shing, Nelson Wong Sing-chi, Holden Chow Ho-ding, Albert Leung Sze-ho, Christine Fong Kwok-shan, Edward Leung Tin-kei and Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu.

Tong, who resigned from the Legislative Council in June last year triggered the by-election. He left his seat in September, 2015.

Previous polls have also suggested a close race between Yeung and Chow. One by the Hong Kong Research Association also found that voter turnout is likely to be high, with at least 80 percent saying that they “definitely would” or “probably would” vote.

chantal yuen

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.