2019 Hong Kong local elections
The 2019 Hong Kong District Council elections are scheduled to be held on 24 November 2019 for the sixth District Councils of Hong Kong. Elections are to be held to all 18 District Councils with returning 452 members from all directly elected constituencies, out of the total 479 seats.
All Elected Constituencies
452 (of the 479) seats in all 18 Districts Councils
In July 2017, the Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) proposed to increase 21 elected seats in 10 District Councils after a review on the number of elected seats for each District Council having regard to the population forecast:
- 1 new seat for each Kowloon City, Yau Tsim Mong and Tsuen Wan District Councils;
- 2 new seats for each Sham Shui Po, Kwai Tsing, Tuen Mun and Sai Kung District Councils;
- 3 new seats for each Kwun Tong and Sha Tin District Councils; and
- 4 new seats for the Yuen Long District Council.
According to the recommendations, the total number of elected seats for the 2019 elections will be increased by 21 from 431 to 452.
Some pro-democracy District Councillors accused the EAC of gerrymandering in which the borders of their constituencies were altered "unreasonably" which might affect their odds should they seek another term. EAC chairman Barnabas Fung claimed that the proposal was purely the result of an objective calculation. "Factors with political implications would definitely not be taken into consideration," Fung said.
In April 2017, Occupy Central co-founder Benny Tai proposed the "Project Storm" to win the majority of the District Council seats for the pro-democrats in the coming election. He stated that by winning a majority of the some 400 District Council seats, pro-democrats could gain an additional 117 seats of the District Council subsectors on the 1,200-member Election Committee which elects the Chief Executive. Tai believed that by making it harder for Beijing to manipulate in the Chief Executive election, it would compel Beijing to restart the stalled political reform after its restrictive proposal was voted down in 2015.
Anti-extradition bill protestsEdit
In mid 2019, the Carrie Lam administration pushed forward the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 to establish a mechanism for transfers of fugitives not only for Taiwan, Mainland China and Macau, which are not covered in the existing laws for a homicide case in Taiwan. The proposed bill raised grave concerns from various sectors of the society including lawyers, journalists, businesses, as well as foreign governments, fearing the heightened risk that Hong Kong citizens and foreign nationals passing through the city, without the safeguards of the local courts, could be sent for trial to Mainland China, where courts are under Chinese political control.
Starting from June, rounds of demonstrations were attended by record breaking of hundreds of thousands to nearly two millions people forced the government to eventually suspend the bill, followed by Lam's announcement of the withdrawal in September. The pro-Beijing parties who were among the strongest advocates of the bill worried their support of the controversial bill as well as the abrupt U-turn would cost them votes in the upcoming District Council elections and next year's Legislative Council election, repeating their devastating defeat in the 2003 District Council elections following the highly controversial national security legislation. Media reported that the government was looking into the possibility of cancelling polls in areas where serious protests are taking place, or even postponing the elections by invoking the Emergency Regulations Ordinance.
Nominations and disqualificationsEdit
An unprecedented number of 1,104 nomination forms were received by the Returning Officers in the two-week nomination period from 4 to 17 October, of which six nominees withdrew their candidatures before the end of the nomination period. It was the first time in history all 452 District Council seats faced contests, compared to the last elections in 2015 where 68 seats went uncontested.
At least four candidates, including Tommy Cheung Sau-yin, Mo Kai-hong, Liu Qing of the Democratic Party and Billy Chan Shiu-yeung of the Community Sha Tin, received letters from the Returning Officers to answer what the candidates meant by it when they posted "Liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times", a popular slogan in the anti-extradition protests on their social media accounts. Two other hopefuls also received letters asking for their stance on Hong Kong independence, including secretary-general of Demosistō Joshua Wong who planned to run for South Horizons West who was asked if he was running on behalf of his party Demosistō and if he supported the notion of "self-determination" for Hong Kong. Agnes Chow, a member of Demosistō was earlier barred from running in the March 2018 Legislative Council by-election on the grounds that Demosistō advocated "self-determination". Henry Wong Pak-yu who aimed for a seat in Tin Heng was also questioned for his previous public pro-independence statement. Both Wongs denied they supported Hong Kong independence. Political scientist Ma Ngok warned that any disqualification would only fuel the ongoing political crisis. In light of the risk of being disqualified, Joshua Wong and at least 12 other pro-democracy candidates including former student leader Lester Shum and pro-democracy legislator Eddie Chu arranged a backup candidate to stand in the same constituency in the last minutes before the nomination period ended as their candidatures had not been confirmed by the Returning Officers. Chu was previously disqualified from running in the January rural representative election by Returning Officer Enoch Yuen Ka-lok, citing his stance of supporting "self-determination".
Current standings of the District CouncilsEdit
By political campEdit
|Central & Western||Pro-Beijing||Tied|
|Yau Tsim Mong||Pro-Beijing||DAB|
|Sham Shui Po||NOC||ADPL|
|Wong Tai Sin||Pro-Beijing||DAB|
By political partyEdit
As of 11 August 2019:
|Ind & others||4||6||6||8||4||1||6||6||15||7||5||23||8||6||5||3||4||11||128|
|Ind & others||2||3||2||1||1||1||4||4||2||2||1||9||3||1||36|
|Ind & others||1||1||2||4|
List of target seatsEdit
|DAB targets||Votes required||Swing required|
|1||Chi Choi (Democratic)||5||0.06%|
|2||Hing Fong (Democratic)||72||0.89%|
|3||Tsui Wan (Ind)||57||1.28%|
|4||Shun Tin (Democratic)||100||1.36%|
|5||Kam To (Ind)||137||1.87%|
|6||Tsuen Wan Centre (Democratic)||161||2.04%|
|Democratic targets||Votes required||Swing required|
|1||Wah Fu South (Ind)||3||0.05%|
|2||Wah Kwai (DAB)||47||0.43%|
|3||Shek Yam (DAB)||54||0.47%|
|4||Centre Street (Ind)||33||0.50%|
|5||Ting On (Ind)||62||0.73%|
|ADPL targets||Votes required||Swing required|
|1||Ma Tau Wai (DAB)||45||0.42%|
|2||Lai Kok (DAB/FTU)||99||0.96%|
|FTU targets||Votes required||Swing required|
|1||Ma Hang Chung (Democratic)||45||0.66%|
|Civic targets||Votes required||Swing required|
|1||Tung Chung North (NPP)||32||0.82%|
|Pro-Beijing independent targets||Votes required||Swing required|
|1||Sai Kung North (BPA)||20||0.49%|
|2||Whampoa West (Ind)||39||0.47%|
|3||Mid Levels East (Democratic)||55||0.92%|
- "Review of the Number of Elected Seats for the Sixth-Term District Councils" (PDF). Legislative Council of Hong Kong.
- "Election chiefs bring in 21 new Hong Kong district council seats, sparking gerrymandering concerns". South China Morning Post. 21 July 2018.
- "Hong Kong Occupy co-founder Benny Tai unveils 'Project Storm' to win more district council seats for pan-democrats". South China Morning Post. 30 April 2017.
- "Fears over Hong Kong-China extradition plans". BBC. 8 April 2019.
- "Is HK tilting from a semi-democracy to a semi-dictatorship?". Ejinsight. 23 May 2019.
- "Suspension of Hong Kong extradition bill is embarrassing to pro-establishment allies and could cost them at election time, camp insiders reveal". South China Morning Post. 16 June 2019.
- "Hong Kong protests: plan mulled to partially cancel district council elections if polling stations targeted, as Joshua Wong announces candidacy". South China Morning Post. 28 September 2019.
- "Aspiring election candidates insist their use of 'Liberate Hong Kong; revolution of our times' protest slogan does not mean they advocate independence". South China Morning Post. 16 October 2019.
- "1104 nomination forms for District Council Ordinary Election received by deadline". Hong Kong government. 17 October 2019.
- "All 452 District Council seats face contests". The Standard. 17 October 2019.
- "Hong Kong pro-democracy leader Joshua Wong and others arrange backup candidates to contest district council elections". South China Morning Post. 17 October 2019.