The 154 nominations submitted by the end of the nomination period on Friday afternoon was the same as that of the 2016 polls – even though the number of seats have risen from 70 to 90.
51 hopefuls have come forward to contest the 40 seats up for grabs in the newly-established election committee constituency; there are 68 would-be candidates hoping to run for the 30 functional constituency seats, while 35 people are looking to participate in direct elections for the remaining 20 geographical constituency seats.
That means as a whole, the functional constituency elections may be the most competitive, with an average of more than two would-be candidates for each individual race.
As things stand now, none of the functional constituency seats will be returned uncontested.
Competition is the fiercest in the medical and health services sector, with six potential candidates; while 15 incumbents are seeking re-election.
However, the final candidate list will only emerge after all hopefuls are vetted by a review body headed by Chief Secretary John Lee, who has said results will be announced by November 26.
The bulk of the potential candidates are viewed as being part of the pro-establishment camp, though there are more than a dozen non-establishment hopefuls looking to enter the race.
Most of them are eyeing a seat in the 10 directly-elected geographical constituencies, each of which has three to five potential candidates battling for two seats.
A number of parties that had participated in past elections, including the Democratic Party and Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood, did not field any candidates.
With the number of geographical constituency seats declining from 35 last term, to 20, a number of incumbent lawmakers are choosing to run for a seat in the new election committee constituency – where the winners will be chosen by the 1,500-strong election committee.
Meanwhile, the government announced that people would not need to use its LeaveHomeSafe Covid-19 app when they vote at polling stations in the December 19 election.
The chairman of the Electoral Affairs Commission, Barnabas Fung, said people would not have to jot down their personal details to enter the station either.
Those entering counting stations, however, must use the LeaveHomeSafe app.