The pro-establishment candidate in the Kowloon West by-election, Yan Chan, has opened up a comfortable lead over the Labour Party's Lee Cheuk-yan from the pan-democratic camp. But a decision by a former pro-democracy lawmaker, Frederick Fung, to run as an independent may have cost Lee the seat.
With about 90 per cent of the ballots counted, Chan has 91,941 votes, Lee 81,773 and Fung on 11,148. Two other candidates, Ng Dick-hay and Judy Tzeng have 1,451 and 1,168 respectively.
Chan was stronger than Lee in a number of districts with public housing estates. In Fu Cheong Estate in Nam Cheong for example, she got 850 votes more than Lee.
Similarly, disparities of around 700 votes between Chan and Lee were seen in a Kai Tak public housing estate where there was a lead-tainted water scandal, as well as Ka Wai Chuen in Hung Hom, part of which is a public rental housing estate.
The by-election was for the seat of pan-democrat Lau Siu-lai. She was one of six pan-dem legislators disqualified for failing to take their Legislative Council oaths of office correctly in 2016. Fung disagreed with the decision to appoint Lee as the back-up for Lau. He has denied he is splitting the vote.
The vote is important for the pam-dems. If Lee won, they would regain their veto in the geographical constituencies.
In spite of the rainy weather, Sunday's turnout of 44.4 per cent, or around 216,000 votes, was slightly higher than the March 2018 West Kowloon by-election turnout of 44.31 per cent. But it was over 13 percentage points lower than in the Legco election there in 2016, where the turnout rate was 58.13 per cent or 283,754 votes.
Last updated: 2018-11-26 HKT 02:45