Hong Kong’s “patriots only” election, the first held under a revamped system ordered by Beijing which marginalises democrats, saw a record low turnout as pro-government candidates swept into the expanded legislature.

Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

Around 1.3 million voters cast ballots on Sunday for a 30.2 per cent voter turnout – 5.6 percentage points less than the last historic low in the 1995 legislative election under British colonial rule.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam said in a statement on Sunday night that the new legislature would bring an era of “good governance” to the city.

With ballot counting for all constituencies completed by Monday at around 11am, pro-establishment candidates swept the seats in the new 90-person legislature, which will have just one member not from the pro-establishment bloc.

Candidates in the Election Committee constituency in Hong Kong’s first “patriots-only” Legislative Council election. Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

In the 10 geographic constituencies which each elected two members, all 11 candidates who identified as pro-democracy, independent or just non-establishment lost by wide margins as turnout slumped.

In Hong Kong Island East, Jason Poon, a construction engineer who blew the whistle on the MTR’s Shatin-Central Link scandal in 2018, nabbed 14,435 votes compared to more than 64,000 for the most popular, pro-Beijing, candidate.

Stanley Ng Chau-pei, head of the Hong Kong Federation of Unions, is canvassing in Siu sai wan. Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

Former District Councillor Adrian Lau Cheuk-yu won the second largest number of votes among the democrats with 12,828 – compared to over 83,000 for the most popular candidate in New Territories South West. Other self proclaimed pro-democracy candidates received votes only in the thousands, including Fong Lung-fei, Wong Sing-chi, Choi Ming-hei and Mandy Tam Heung-man.

In the Election Committee sector, 11 candidates were rejected by voters including Lan Kwai Fong Group Chairman Allan Zeman, Michael Rowse, a former civil servant and head of InvestHK, and electrician Vincent Diu, who was heralded by Beijing as an example of the diversity and competition in the “patriots” polls.

Many who won the most votes from the city’s 1,448 Election Committee members – charged with selecting 40 LegCo members from 51 candidates – were incumbent lawmakers who had switched from running in the direct district polls. Among them were Michael Luk of the pro-Beijing Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions; the pro-Beijing DAB’s Elizabeth Quat and Horace Cheung; Eunice Yung of the New People’s Party which is also pro-Beijing; and Ma Fung-kwok and Paul Tse.

Reverend Canon Peter Douglas Koon, a candidate running in the Election Committee constituency in Hong Kong’s first “patriots-only” legislative race. Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

Reverend Canon Peter Koon Ho-ming, the provincial secretary general of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, meanwhile, becomes Hong Kong’s first religious leader to join the legislature as a member of the election committee constituency.

The only “non-pro-establishment” candidate elected was Tik Chi-yuen. The founder of the self-declared centrist party Third Side won in the social welfare functional constituency, with about 1,400 votes. His competitors Chu Lai-ling representing the DAB and Yip Cham-kai who ran independently had 872 and 196 votes respectively.

Tik Chi-yuen. File Photo: GovHK.

By 9:30 a.m. on Monday, the city’s Convention and Exhibition Centre was largely empty as final results from the functional constituencies came in. Only a handful of election hopefuls or supporters were present.

The last result in the election was the one for the labour functional constituency, where four candidates were running for three seats.

Kwok Wai-keung and Dennis Leung of the pro-Beijing HKFTU, together with Chau Siu-chung of the pro-establishment Federation of Hong Kong and Kowloon Unions were elected.

The four labour candidates and their campaign staffers, including losing candidate Lee Kwong-yu, chanted “Unity in the labour sector, sure win!” on stage after the winners were declared.

Bill Tang from the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions. Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

In March, 2021, Beijing passed legislation to ensure “patriots” govern Hong Kong. The move reduced democratic representation in the legislature, tightened control of elections and introduced a pro-Beijing vetting panel to select candidates. The Hong Kong government said the overhaul would ensure the city’s stability and prosperity. But the changes also prompted international condemnation, as it makes it near-impossible for pro-democracy candidates to stand.

The turnout slumped despite a vigorous campaign by Beijing and Hong Kong authorities encouraging people to vote, including an advertising blitz and last-minute SMS appeals to electors. Even Beijing’s top man on Hong Kong affairs Xia Baolong broke with tradition to urge Hongkongers to vote.

Candidates from major pro-establishment parties canvassed late into the evening but the crowds stayed away – in contrast to the city’s last elections, for district councils in November 2019, when turnout topped 71 per cent as voters expressed overwhelming support for pro-democracy candidates.

Full cooperation with government

Chief Executive Carrie Lam played down the low public support, saying Monday she had had no expectations for the turnout. Her only goals would be to ensure that the system would from now on be run by “patriots” only after an election race which was fair, efficient, and “humane.”

Chief Executive Carrie Lam cast her ballot at the Raimondi College poling station. Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

“If the high voting rate is based on political deterioration, or based on some candidates who are fighting for authority to endanger national security, this is not a high voting rate we agree with,” Lam said. Similarly, if the high voting rate is based on extreme divisions in society, like in 2019 the ‘blue’ and ‘yellow’ division, this is also not something we should be happy with.”

“When the 7th Legislative Council commences, we will cooperate fully with them to boost the economy… and improve livelihoods. We hope to have reasonable, practical interaction on how to fix deep-rooted problems in Hong Kong,” she said before leaving on her annual duty visit to Beijing.

Geographical constituencies (20 seats)

  • Hong Kong Island East: Ng Chau-pei from the HKFTU and Edward Leung from the DAB won with 64,509 and 26,799 votes, beating New People’s Party’s Liu Tin Shing and self-proclaimed non-pro-establishment candidate Jason Poon.
  • Hong Kong Island West: Veteran lawmaker Regina Ip from the New People’s Party won another term with 65,694 votes, along with DAB’s Chan Hok-fung, who received 36,628 votes, beating “pro-democracy independent” candidate Fong Lung-fei.
  • Kowloon East: Bill Tang from the HKFTU and Frankie Ngan from the DAB were elected with 65,036 and 64,275 votes, defeating three other “independent” or “non-pro-establishment candidates, Chan Chun-hung, Wu Kin-wa, and Ellen Li.
  • Kowloon West: With 64,353 and 36,840 votes, Vincent Cheng from the DAB, and former member of the pro-establishment group, the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong, Scott Leung, beat veteran politician Frederick Fung.
  • Kowloon Central: DAB Chairperson Starry Lee won the most votes among all elected lawmakers in the geographical constituency with 95,976, and won along with Kitson Yang of the Kowloon Federation of Associations, who received 35,702. The pair defeated “non-pro-establishment” candidate Mandy Tam.
  • New Territories South East: Stanley Li from the DAB and Connie Lam from Professional Power Limited won with 82,595 and 38,214 votes, beating “democrat” Daryl Choi, who received 6,718 votes.
  • New Territories North: Law Kwok-fan from the DAB and Gary Zhang from New Prospect for Hong Kong defeated independent candidate Wilson Shum and Judy Tzeng by winning 70,584 and 28,986 votes.
  • New Territories North West: Incumbent lawmakers, Holden Chow from the DAB and Michael Tien from Roundtable, won another term with 93,195 and 40,009 votes, beating Third Side candidate Casper Wong.
  • New Territories South West: Ben Chan from the DAB and Joephy Chan from the HKFTU beat self-proclaimed democrat Adrian Lau by winning 83,303 and 62,690 votes.
  • New Territories North East: DAB’s Gary Chan and New People’s Party’s Dominic Lee defeated Path of Democracy candidate Allan Wong and “democrat” Nelson Wong, and won 62,855 and 61,253 votes.

Detailed results – Click to view.

ConstituencyCandidateVotes
Received
Results
HONG KONG ISLAND EASTLEUNG HEI EDWARD26,799Elected
LIU TIN SHING23,171
NG CHAU PEI64,509Elected
POON CHUK HUNG14,435
HONG KONG ISLAND WESTIP LAU SUK YEE REGINA65,694Elected
CHAN HOK FUNG36,628Elected
FONG LUNG FEI8,058
KOWLOON EASTTANG KA PIU65,036Elected
NGAN MAN YU64,275Elected
CHAN CHUN HUNG2,999
WU KIN WA3,090
LI KA YAN12,049
KOWLOON WESTLEUNG MAN KWONG36,840Elected
FUNG KIN KEE FREDERICK15,961
CHENG WING SHUN VINCENT64,353Elected
KOWLOON CENTRALLEE WAI KING STARRY95,976Elected
YANG WING KIT35,702Elected
TAM HEUNG MAN8,028

NEW TERRITORIES SOUTH EAST
CHOI MING HEI6,718
LI SAI WING82,595Elected
LAM SO WAI38,214Elected
NEW TERRITORIES NORTHZHANG XINYU28,986Elected
LAU KWOK FAN70,584Elected
SHUM HO KIT17,839
TZENG LI WEN JUDY3,498
NEW TERRITORIES NORTH WESTCHOW HO DING HOLDEN93,195Elected
TIEN MICHAEL PUK SUN40,009Elected
WONG CHUN LONG4,066
NEW TERRITORIES SOUTH WESTLAU CHEUK YU12,828
CHAN HAN PAN83,303Elected
CHAN WING YAN62,690Elected
NEW TERRITORIES NORTH EASTLEE TSZ KING DOMINIC61,253Elected
WONG SING CHI5,789
CHAN HAK KAN62,855Elected
WONG WING HO ALLAN5,160

Election committee constituency (40 seats)

Click to view.

CandidatesVotes ReceivedResults
LUK CHUNG HUNG1178Elected
MA FUNG KWOK1234Elected
WONG KWOK KINGSLEY1192Elected
CHAN HOI YAN1292Elected
TANG FEI1339Elected
ROWSE MICHAEL JOHN TRELOAR454
TSE WAI CHUN PAUL1283Elected
DIU SING HUNG342
TSENG CHIN I919
LAM CHI YUEN NELSON970Elected
KOON HO MING PETER DOUGLAS1102Elected
LAM SIU LO ANDREW1026Elected
CHOW MAN KONG1060Elected
KONG YUK FOON DOREEN1032Elected
FUNG WAI KWONG708
CHAN YUET MING1187Elected
LEE HOEY SIMON1308Elected
CHAN JUDY KAPUI1284Elected
WONG CHI HIM956
CHAN MAN KI MAGGIE1331Elected
SO CHEUNG WING1013Elected
SUN DONG1124Elected
TU HAI MING834
TAN YUEHENG1245Elected
NG KIT CHONG1239Elected
CHAN SIU HUNG1239Elected
HONG WEN1142Elected
LAM SHUN CHIU DENNIS1157Elected
CHEN CHUNG NIN ROCK1297Elected
YUNG HOI YAN1313Elected
CHAN PUI LEUNG1205Elected
LAU CHI PANG1214Elected
KAN WAI MUN CARMEN1291Elected
LAM LAM NIXIE1181Elected
LUK HON MAN1059Elected
QUAT ELIZABETH (EQ)1322Elected
KWOK LING LAI LILLIAN1122Elected
LAI TUNG KWOK1237Elected
LEUNG MEI FUN1348Elected
HO KWAN YIU1263Elected
CHAN HOI WING941
MAK MEI KUEN ALICE1326Elected
SUN WEI YUNG KEVIN891
WONG YUEN SHAN (STEPHEN)1305Elected
LEE CHUN KEUNG1060Elected
CHEUNG KWOK KWAN1342Elected
LEUNG KENNETH YUK WAI1160Elected
ZEMAN ALLAN955
LAM CHUN SING1002Elected
NG WANG WAI CHARLES958
CHOY WING KEUNG818

Functional constituency (30 seats)

Click to view.

Heung Yee Kuk

CandidatesVotes obtainedResults
Lau Ip Keung Kenneth119Elected
Mok Kam Kwai35

Agriculture and fisheries

No.CandidatesVotes obtained Results
AF 1Ho Chun Yin Steven117Elected
AF 2Yeung Sheung Chun53

Insurance

Candidates Votes obtained Results
Chen Zhaonan24
Chan Kin Por65Elected

Transport

Votes obtained Candidates Votes obtained Results
Chan Chung Yee Alan56
Yick Chi Ming Frankie147Elected

Education

Candidates Votes obtained Results
Man Sze Wing Jessica2,054
Lam Yat Fung James4,544
Ting Kin Wa2,533
Lam Wing Sze3,280
Chu Kwok Keung10,641Elected

Legal

Candidates Votes obtained Results
Lam San Keung (Ambrose Lam)1,637Elected
Chen Xiaofeng674

Accountancy

Candidates Votes obtained Results
Wong Wang Tai1,981
Yung Kin1,065
Man See Yee (Florence Poon Man See Yee)1,734
Wong Chun Sek Edmund3,175Elected

Medical and health services

Candidates Votes obtained Results
Chan Chi Chung2,585
Chan Wing Kwong3,446
Ho Sung Hon1,631
Pong Scarlett Oi Lan2,719
Lam Tzit Yuen David5,511 Elected

Engineering

Candidates Votes obtained Results
Wong Wai Shun1,243
Lo Wai Kwok3,849Elected

Architectural, surveying, planning and landscape

CandidatesVotes obtained Results
Tse Wai Chuen Tony2,266Elected
Chan Chak Bun1,063

Labour

CandidatesVotes obtained Results
Leung Tsz Wing Dennis373Elected
Chau Siu Chung371Elected
Lee Kwong Yu116
Kwok Wai Keung398Elected

Social welfare

Candidates Votes obtained Results
Chu Lai Ling872
Yip Cham Kai196
Tik Chi Yuen1,400Elected

Real estate and construction

No.Candidates Votes obtained Results
L 1Chao Howard138
L 2Loong Hon Biu242Elected

Tourism 

Candidates Votes obtained Results
Ma Yat Chiu13
Yiu Pak Leung160Elected

Commercial (first)

Candidates Votes obtained Results
Yew Yat Ming (Edmond)101
Lam Kin Fung Jeffrey628Elected

Commercial (second)

Candidates Votes obtained Results
Liao Cheung Kong Martin176Elected
Yip Wing Shing71

Commercial (third)

Candidates Votes obtained Results
Yim Kong (Erik Yim)174Elected
Yau Wai Kwong110

Industrial (first)

Candidates Votes obtained Results
Leung Kwan Yuen Andrew235Elected
Leung Yat Cheong67

Industrial (second)

Candidates Votes obtained Results
Ng Wing Ka306Elected
Lo Ching Kong65

Finance

Candidates Votes obtained Results
Chan Chun Ying51Elected
Chan Chi Fai Owens17

Financial services

Candidates Votes obtained Results
Lee Wai Wang Robert314Elected
Cheung Wah Fung Christopher169

Sports, performing arts, culture and publication

Candidates Votes obtained Results
So Wai Leung William29
Fok Kai Kong Kenneth195Elected

Import and export

Candidates Votes obtained Results
Li Chi Fung Michael48
Wong Kennedy Ying Ho108Elected

Textiles and garment

Candidates Votes obtained Results
Tan Sunny172Elected
Chung Kwok Pan82

Wholesale and retail

Candidates Votes obtained Results
Lam Chi Wing112
Shiu Ka Fai1,116Elected

Technology and innovation

Candidates Votes obtained Results
Wu Chili12
Chiu Duncan59Elected

Catering

Candidates Votes obtained Results
Chui Man Wai Rayman27
Cheung Yu Yan Tommy101Elected

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region deputies to the National People’s Congress, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region members of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and representatives of relevant national organisations

CandidatesVotes obtainedResults
Chan Yung432Elected
Tse Hiu Hung177

Additional reporting: Peter Lee.

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Selina Cheng

Selina Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist who previously worked with HK01, Quartz and AFP Beijing. She also covered the Umbrella Movement for AP and reported for a newspaper in France. Selina has studied investigative reporting at the Columbia Journalism School.