Hong Kong elections: pro-Beijing camp left reeling from landslide defeat
(SCMP) – The anti-establishment reverberations from almost six months of street protests swept through polling stations across Hong Kong on Sunday, as voters in record numbers roundly rejected pro-Beijing candidates in favour of pan-democrats.
The tsunami of disaffection among voters was clear across the board, as pan-democrats rode the wave to win big in poor and rich neighbourhoods, in both protest-prone and non-protest-afflicted districts and, in downtown areas as well as the suburbs.
Less immediately obvious was whether there was a generational divide in the way people voted, but ousted pro-establishment district councillors suggested that young, first-time voters had been instrumental in dislodging them from their perch.
The final election results were confirmed at 1pm on Monday when the vote count was completed at Lam Tin constituency of Kwun Tong District Council.
Among the 452 seats up for grabs, the pan-democrats were victorious in 347, the independents – many of them pro-democracy – won 45, while the pro-establishment camp had to make do with 60.
The pro-democracy camp now has control of 17 out of 18 district councils. It won all elected seats in Wong Tai Sin and Tai Po district councils.
Since the pro-democracy bloc won majorities on nearly all district councils, it is likely to be awarded 117 seats on the election committee that selects the city’s chief executive.
Although the district councils handle local matters and have no direct say over the chief executive’s programme, the elections were seen as a barometer of support either for the anti-government protest movement or for the embattled leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and her handling of the roiling unrest.