Date
23 May 2017
Voter turnout will be higher in the district council elections this year compared to the previous polls in 2011, a survey suggests. Photo: HKEJ
Voter turnout will be higher in the district council elections this year compared to the previous polls in 2011, a survey suggests. Photo: HKEJ

More people keen on voting in district polls now than in 2011

As Hong Kong prepares for district council elections, a survey has shown that more people are now keen to vote in the local polls compared to the previous such exercise in 2011.

According to the University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Programme (POP), 71 percent of respondents said they will vote in Sunday’s elections.

The figure marks an increase of 5 percentage points from the voting level in the previous district council contest four years ago, Apple Daily noted.

However, the percentage of voters who said they knew the candidates in their district fell to 73 percent, from 80 percent in the last election.

Also, only 30 percent of the respondents said they had already made up their minds about who they will vote for. That compares to 37 percent in a previous survey done ahead of the 2011 election.

For the latest survey, HKU researchers interviewed more than 1,052 registered voters between Oct. 29 and Nov. 4.

Frank Lee, Research Manager of POP, said the turnout rate in Sunday’s election may be higher, but the effect of loyal voters may weaken.

Among various factors under consideration, 41 percent of the respondents said they will mainly take into account candidates’ political platform and alignment, while 33 percent indicated that their chief deciding factor will be the candidates’ service record.

The figures mark a decline of 6 and 7 percentage points respectively from 2011.

Six percent of the respondents said they will focus mainly on candidates’ individual background and performance in the election campaign, up 2 percentage points from the last election.

People continue to value the candidates’ political background, which may be related to the recent political environment, Lee noted.

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