A majority of Hongkongers surveyed this week believe that pro-democracy legislators should refuse to serve an extended term after Hong Kong’s government postponed a Legislative Council (LegCo) election scheduled for September, citing the coronavirus outbreak.

Beijing decided last week that Hong Kong’s current lawmakers will be allowed to stay on until the delayed election is held next year, but Democratic Party and other opposition legislators are undecided what to do.

Photo: HKPORI via Twitter.

They have said they will seek a referendum or a public opinion survey before deciding whether to stay or go. Supporters of an extra year say legislators should remain in place to challenge government policies, while opponents say staying on would legitimise the Chinese legislature’s intervention.

The opinion poll conducted by the Public Opinion Research Institute (PORI) surveyed over 25,000 people online. Some 1,000 people were reached by phone.

The poll differentiated between those respondents who identified as supporters of the democracy camp and those who did not.

Results published on Friday of the online poll showed that 63 percent of pro-democracy participants opposed an extension, while 31 percent of non-pro-democracy participants also opposed the move.

In a separate telephone poll, the institute found that only 37 percent were in support of the extended legislative term with 16 per cent described as “half-half” and 41 percent opposed.

Rhoda Kwan

Rhoda Kwan is HKFP's Assistant Editor. She has previously written for TimeOut Hong Kong and worked at Meanjin, a literary journal. She holds a double bachelor’s degree in Law and Literature from the University of Hong Kong.