Around 50 per cent of Hongkongers oppose the government’s arrangement of allowing residents in mainland China to vote in the upcoming “patriots only” elections, a poll has found.

The Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute (PORI) publicised results of its wide-ranging questionnaire Friday, which collected feedback from 5,888 Hong Kong residents via an online survey from last Tuesday to this Monday.

Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

Of the 50 per cent who said they oppose the arrangements allowing residents in mainland China to vote in the Legislative Council elections, 43 per cent said they “strongly” opposed it.

Among respondents who identified as pro-democracy camp supporters, 92 per cent disagreed with the arrangement.

Photo: PORI.

The survey also found that around 45 per cent of respondents felt there were no candidates in their geographical constituencies – the only seats in the vote that will be elected by the public – who are worthy of their support.

Forty per cent said there were candidates they would support, whilst 15 per cent indicated “don’t know/hard to say.”

Low turnout expected

Hong Kong will hold Legislative Council elections on December 19, the first since Beijing ordered a sweeping electoral overhaul that effectively bars members of the opposition from running.

All candidates who are contesting were subjected to a multilayer vetting mechanism led by government officials to ensure that they are “patriots.”

Legislative Council by-election polling station. Photo: inmediahk.net.

Democrats and some local election experts have criticised the revamp, calling it a “huge regression in democracy,” whilst most pro-democracy figures remain behind bars, in self-exile abroad, or have quit politics altogether.

A rolling PORI poll conducted in mid-November – results of which were released early last week – found that only 53 per cent of Hongkongers are inclined to vote in the newly-restrictive December elections.

The same question asked in the recent poll suggested that just 47 per cent “definitely” or “probably” will vote, PORI said Friday.

Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

Last month, the independent polling group came under attack from state controlled newspaper Ta Kung Pao, which claimed the institute’s surveys could “abet” and “prompt” people wanting to “disrupt Hong Kong.”

Following the paper’s accusations, Commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Simon Peh told TVB News on Monday he could not rule out the possibility that PORI may be breaching the law by publishing results of its surveys on the December 19 election, including how voters intend to cast their ballots.

Mainland border polling stations

Online registration opened Wednesday for Hong Kong residents in mainland China who wish to cast their vote.

The Hong Kong government announced last month that three voting stations would be set up at the Lo Wu, Heung Yuen Wai and Futian control points near the border with mainland China. Neither reporters nor members of the public will be allowed to observe vote counting at the stations, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang said during a press briefing Monday.

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang. File photo: Stand News screenshot.

On polling day, voters must present a negative Covid-19 test obtained less than 48 hours before election day and present a green “health code” from the mainland indicating that they have not recently visited any medium to high risk locations.

They will be exempt from having to undergo hotel quarantine and from medical observation requirements in the mainland as long as they return to the territory immediately via the same control point.

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Hillary Leung

Hillary has an interest in social issues and politics. Previously, she reported on Asia broadly - including on Hong Kong's 2019 protests - for TIME Magazine and covered local news at Coconuts Hong Kong.