Geographical constituency

(Redirected from Geographical constituencies)

In Hong Kong, geographical constituencies, as opposed to functional constituencies, are elected by all eligible voters according to geographically demarcated constituencies. There are currently 5 geographical constituencies in Hong Kong, returning 35 members to the Legislative Council.[1] Following the 2021 electoral reforms passed by the Standing Committee of the mainland National People's Congress, the number of members returned by geographical constituencies would be lowered to 20, while the total number of seats in the Legislative Council would be increased to 90.

History edit

Geographical constituencies (GC) were first introduced in Hong Kong's first legislative election with direct elections in 1991. 18 constituencies, each returning 2 members using plurality block voting was created for the 1991 election. Under Chris Patten's electoral reform, single-member constituencies were introduced for geographical constituencies in the 1995 election. After the transfer of sovereignty in 1997, the Provisional Legislative Council enacted the Legislative Council Ordinance (Cap. 542) which stipulated the use of party-list proportional representation with seats apportioned by the largest remainder method under the Hare Quota. Between 1998 and 2016, 5 geographical constituencies were established returned by proportional representation with 3-9 seats each:

1998 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016
Hong Kong Island 4 5 6 7 6
Kowloon West 3 4 5 6
Kowloon East 3 4 5 4 5
New Territories West 5 6 8 9
New Territories East 5 7 9
Total no. of GC seats 20 24 30 35

In 2010, the Government's motion for amending Annex II of the Basic Law was passed. As a result, 5 new seats were added to Geographical Constituencies, making a total of 35.

Changes to electoral system edit

The following table summarises the changes to the electoral system of Geographical Constituencies since 1991:

Election Year Voting system Number of
Total number of
GC seats
Proportion of
LegCo seats
1991 Plurality-at-large 9 constituencies 2 seats 18 seats 29.5%
1995 First-past-the-post voting 20 constituencies 1 seat 20 seats 33.3%
1998 Proportional representation
(Largest remainder method: Hare quota)
5 constituencies 3-9 seats 20 seats 33.3%
2000 24 seats 40%
2004 30 seats 50%
2012 35 seats 50%
2021 Single non-transferable vote 10 constituencies 2 seats 20 seats 22.2%

Changes to districting edit

The following table charts the evolution of districting of geographical constituencies of the LegCo:

1991 1995 1998 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016 2021
GCs Hong Kong Island East Hong Kong Island Central Hong Kong Island (LC1) Hong Kong Island East
Hong Kong Island East
Hong Kong Island South
Hong Kong Island West Hong Kong Island West
Hong Kong Island West
Kowloon East Kowloon East Kowloon East (LC3) Kowloon East
Kowloon South-east
Kowloon Central Kowloon North-east
Kowloon Central
Kowloon Central
Kowloon West (LC2)
Kowloon South
Kowloon South-west Kowloon West
Kowloon West
Kowloon West
New Territories East New Territories East New Territories East (LC5) New Territories South East
New Territories North East
New Territories South-east
New Territories North New Territories North-east
New Territories North New Territories North
New Territories South New Territories West (LC4)
New Territories North-west
New Territories North West
New Territories West
New Territories Central
New Territories West New Territories South West
New Territories South
New Territories South-west
Hong Kong Island West

2021 electoral reform edit

20 seats of the Legislative Council are returned by geographical constituencies (GC) through single non-transferable vote with a district magnitude of 2 ("binomial system"). The binomial system was instituted by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress in its amendment to Annex 2 of the Basic Law on 30 March 2021.[2]

The proportional representation system used between 1998 and 2016 was scrapped. The reduction of the number of members returned by geographic constituencies has been described as "significantly curbing democratic representation in Hong Kong's institutions".[3] These changes have been described as a shift in power away from Hong Kong's urban core and towards the outer, less densely populated regions closer to mainland China, where pro-Beijing candidates tend to fare better.

10 geographical constituencies were established for the 2021 election:

Geographical constituency Number of voters[4] Number of seats Voting system
Hong Kong Island East 424,849 2 Single non-transferable vote
Hong Kong Island West 374,795
Kowloon East 475,223
Kowloon West 381,484
Kowloon Central 454,595
New Territories South East 472,751
New Territories North 431,604
New Territories North West 468,752
New Territories South West 510,558
New Territories North East 478,252

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Cap 542 s18 Establishment of geographical constituencies Legislative Council Ordinance
  2. ^ "Geographical constituency boundary maps in respect of 2021 Legislative Council General Election available for public viewing". Retrieved 2021-09-13.
  3. ^ "Hong Kong announces more electoral system changes favouring pro-Beijing camp". Reuters. 2021-04-13. Retrieved 2021-09-13.
  4. ^ "No. of electors in the 2021 final registers". Registration and Electoral Office. Retrieved 4 February 2022.