There was little to be seen of pan-democratic parties on election day, as pro-establishment campaigners and flags dot the streets of a relatively quiet Kennedy Town.

The pan-democrats have not disappeared – here and there, one or two campaigners for the pan-democratic side can be seen. But the area is dominated by pro-Beijing parties, especially the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) and the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (HKFTU), which have put up their flags and placed their campaigners even on relatively empty streets.

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Most of the banners and flags at Sai Wan were for pro-establishment camps. Photo: Chantal Yuen, HKFP.

David So, who works in the IT sector and is a campaigner for independent candidate Ricky Wong Wai-kay, said: “This place [usually] has less people, so probably campaigning will take place elsewhere… such as in Wan Chai, Causeway Bay. I think that they are looking at the flow of people and the number of people in making their decisions,” he said, standing in front of a small cluster of flags for Wong amid a string of pro-establishment campaigns.

However, he thinks last minute campaigning will not make much of a difference. “I think most people have already decided and [handing out pamphlets] will have some effect… I think it is so-so.” He added that according to his observations, some only choose to take pamphlets from those they wish to vote for.

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A pedestrian sits on a staircase under two HKFTU flags. Photo: Chantal Yuen, HKFP.

Edward, a volunteer for the pro-democracy party Demosistō, also said that “some pan-democratic groups who are more well-known will probably win, so they don’t need to do much campaigning… but for us, who are at the edge [of getting elected], we really need to rely on campaigning, because if we don’t, there is a chance we won’t get into [the Legislative Council].”

At a popular intersection, the pan-democrats have occupied a small space outside a bakery. They were surrounded by pro-establishment campaigners and flags, however. Pro-Beijing campaigners also occupied a much larger free space across the road.

pro-democracy pan-democrats campaign
Pan-democrats campaign in a small area, while the pro-establishment camp occupied a larger area, which can be seen in the background. Photo: Chantal Yuen, HKFP.

The most recent HKUPOP survey conducted for the Hong Kong Island district between August 21 to September 1 showed Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, of the pro-establishment New People’s Party, leading with 22 per cent support. Tanya Chan, of the pro-democracy Civic Party, comes in second with 15 per cent. The FTU’s Horace Cheung Kwok-kwan, whose campaigners were seen around the neighbourhood, has a 12 per cent support rate and is predicted to win a seat in the district.

The legislative election is taking place on Sunday. Full candidate lists across districts and constituencies can be viewed here.

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.