‘Political apathy drove voters away’

Non-establishment candidates said apathy among pro-democracy voters was a key reason behind their poor showing in the Legco polls.

Former lawmaker Frederick Fung, who lost in the Kowloon West constituency, said many people who support democracy feel indifferent under the current political climate.

“Many people who support democracy won’t come out to vote. That created a situation that I can’t get enough votes in the campaign,” he said.

“I think the legislature will be monopolised by one voice… No one will represent the voice in democracy, freedom of speech, human rights and so on. I think it’s not right and not good for Hong Kong.”

Caspar Wong of Third Side, who was well beaten in New Territories North West, also believed he lost because pro-democracy supporters mostly stayed away from the polls. “I respect the decision made by the voters from the democratic side,” he said.

“As non-establishment candidates, we need to have more time to explain our philosophy to the voters.”

But DAB chair Starry Lee, who won a seat in Kowloon West, dismissed concerns that the new Legco will effectively have only one voice.

“Regarding policy initiatives, we will have very different views,” she said.

Lee also dismissed suggestions that the 30.2 percent turnout rate for directly-elected seats – down from 58.2 percent in 2016 – was cause for concern, saying the figure is around what she had expected.

“This is a new system. This is a system we call ‘patriots administering Hong Kong’, right? This is different from the previous one, therefore you cannot compare directly, and I believe that with the new system people need time to get used to that.”