As the nomination period of the Legislative Council election ended at 5pm on Friday, 12 functional constituency seats were automatically chosen, since there was only one candidate nominated to run in each constituency.
The number of automatically elected lawmakers saw a decrease from the last election in 2012, in which 16 constituencies had only one candidate. In 1998, 2000, 2004 and 2008, ten, nine, 11, and 14 candidates, respectively, were automatically elected.
Of the 12 pro-Beijing lawmakers, three were automatically elected four times in a row, including Wong Ting-kwong of the import and export sector, Abraham Shek Lai-him of the real estate and construction sector and Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen of the industrial (first) constituency.
Leung, the chairman of LegCo’s House Committee, was tipped to be the next LegCo president, as he was often the acting president when incumbent president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing was not present.
Martin Liao Cheung-kong of the commercial (second) constituency, Poon Siu-ping of the labour sector, and Chan Kin-por of the insurance sector were automatically elected twice in a row.
The other six who were automatically elected were newcomers to the LegCo race who will be replacing former lawmakers.
However, previously elected-by-default lawmaker Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung of the commercial (first) sector received a new challenger, Joseph Chan Ho-lim of the Liberal Party. Lam belongs to the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong, which split from the Liberal Party in 2012.
In 2012, the Liberal Party won three other automatically elected seats in the wholesale and retail, hotels and catering, and transport and communication sectors. But in this election, the first two were challenged by pro-democracy candidates, and the third was challenged by a pro-Beijing candidate.
Meanwhile, the most contested seat is in the Social Welfare constituency, in which five candidates will race for one seat. Nelson Wong Sing-chi, who co-founded the Third Side party, withdrew from the party to run in the sector on Friday. The other candidates are Ken Tsang Kin-chiu, Yip Kun-chung, Shiu Ka-chun and Alex Kwan Yui-huen.