Ninety-eight per cent of pro-democracy camp electors who have expressed a voting preference say they will vote for John Tsang in Sunday’s small-circle election.

The Democrats 300+ team held a meeting on Monday night following the final televised debate between the three candidates on Sunday. The meeting also followed an unofficial public referendum which wrapped up on Sunday amid a low voter turnout.

Lawmaker Kenneth Leung Kai-cheong did not directly state how many electors had already expressed a voting preference. But he said that no one will vote for Carrie Lam, who is seen as Beijing’s favourite.

John Tsang
John Tsang. Photo: Facebook/John Tsang.

Not all sectors have decided how they will vote. The legal sector will host a debate between John Tsang and rival Woo Kwok-hing on Wednesday -its 30 electors have yet to express a preference.

Some other sectors have also yet to express their voting preference but Leung said he was not authorised to reveal which they were.

Public support 

He said that the camp took reference of the unofficial referendum and other opinion polls, in which Tsang is leading.

Leung did not explain who the other two per cent of declared electors will vote for, though some may cast blank protest ballots or back Woo.

Labour Party lawmaker Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung had said he would not support Tsang, but did not clearly explain whether he would actually cast a vote for him.

Similarly, five other pro-democracy lawmakers including “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, Nathan Law Kwun-chung, Lau Siu-lai and Ray Chan Chi-chuen, who supported Leung’s campaign to seek civil nominations, are unlikely to vote for the former finance chief.

The lawmakers who coordinate the D300+ team. Photo: Facebook screenshot.

On Monday afternoon, seven lawmakers from the Democratic Party said they will vote for Tsang, and 30 electors from the higher education sector expressed an interest in backing him too.

Previously, the Civic Party had said its 25 votes will be given to Tsang.

Lawmaker Charles Mok, also a coordinator of the Democrats 300+ team, said the platform was never seeking to make all electors vote as one unit.

“We are happy that most people voluntarily chose to vote for John Tsang, to lower the risk of electing a Leung Chun-ying 2.0 [Lam],” he said.

“I think 98 per cent is a very strong message, because if you consider the level of unity in the pan-democratic camp… and compare with the fragmentation that you see on the pro-establishment side, there’s a clear comparison.”

Mok also urged the pro-Beijing camp to vote for the candidate they truly wanted to support, but not the one being ordained.

woo kwok hing
Woo Kwok-hing. Photo: Woo Kwok-hing, via Facebook.

But even if John Tsang receives most of the 300-odd votes from the pro-democracy camp, he will still need around 300 votes from the pro-Beijing camp to win on Sunday. He only received 35 nominations from the pro-Beijing camp in order to enter the race.

Woo shunned?

Asked if Woo was being sacrificed, Mok said: “We all want to stop a candidate who will split Hong Kong from being elected – this is the most important thing. It is hard to say we are sacrificing anyone, but I suppose the public’s wish should be respected.”

Mok praised Woo’s performance during the campaign and said the team respects him.

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.