As Hong Kong prepares to hold District Council elections later this year, the latest official statistics show a significant jump in the number of newly registered young voters in the city.
According to voter registration statistics submitted to the Legislative Council (LegCo) by the government, 43,289 of the newly registered 77,261 voters in 2014 were aged between 18 and 20, up 60 percent from a year earlier and close to the 45,746 registered in 2012 when the city held the LegCo election, Ming Pao Daily reported Thursday.
A total of more than 3.5 million voters were on the 2014 electoral register. However, only 3 percent of those were aged between 18 and 20, while those aged between 51 and 60 accounted for the most part, with 23.4 percent.
Ma Ngok, assistant professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said while the increase in young voters might have stemmed from the pro-democracy movement last year, the group still represents only a small portion of the total and therefore will not have much impact on the election.
He also added that one cannot assume all the young voters will support candidates from the pro-democracy camp.
The latest statistics show that Sha Tin and Yuen Long had the most number of newly registered young voters aged between 18 and 20 among the 18 electoral districts, with 4,954 and 4,568 respectively.
Legislators from Yuen Long district said it could be due to the fact that there are more young people living in Tin Shui Wai in the district, and that their political awareness has clearly increased with the Umbrella Movement.
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