Sunday 9 September was a red letter day for Hong Kong. Citizens voted in the Legislative Council elections.
A total of 1.83 million people participated in the LegCo Election yesterday, representing a turnout rate of 53% as compared to 45.2% in 2008. Voters were seen queuing up outside some polling stations particularly after dinner time. When voting closed at 10:30pm, several hundred voters were still lining up to cast their ballots at a polling station in Ocean Shores in Tseung Kwan O.
Assistant professor in politics and administration from the CUHK Choy Chi-keung believed the enthusiasm was caused by the latest row over national education or possibly discontent with CY Leung’s government. Choy added that the high turnout rate might not necessarily benefit democrats because the division within both the pan-democratic and pro-establishment camps made it difficult to predict results under the proportional representation voting system.
While voting is still underway, initial results point to a large loss by the Democratic Party. Chairman Albert Ho announced his resignation this morning, in what some say was a response to a pointed request. Before voting began on Saturday he made this impassioned plea:
“According to the polls, my popularity rating has dropped significantly, so I am in a very dangerous situation now : Please stabilise your support for me, otherwise I may lose.” Albert Ho on 8 September 2012
The people of Hong Kong listened, then voted. Albert Ho is the first significant loser in the Legislative Council elections of 2012.