[Updated on Dec. 31, 2015]
The results are seriously mixed, reflecting the deep division among Hong Kong people. The high turnout rate of 47% captures intensified mobilization by both pro-umbrella and anti-umbrella forces, overturning the traditional wisdom that higher turnouts should benefit the pro-democracy camp.
Regarding the division:
Chan Kin-man said previous studies indicated that 60 per cent of Hongkongers were pro-democracy supporters. However, he said, various polls showed that only 40 per cent at most backed the Occupy protests and objected to the Beijing-decreed political reform model. “It is a very big drop from 60 per cent to 40 per cent. The supporters we lost are mostly moderates and the grass roots,” he said. “Their preferences are crucial in district council polls as they are the most active voters.” (A new term for Leung in 2017 will make Hong Kong more radical, says co-founder of Occupy protest movement)
Some heavy weights of the pro-democracy camp won (James To) while others lost by small margins (Albert Ho and Frederick Fung); some new umbrella soldiers won (Wong Chi-ken, Yeung Suet-ying, Chui Chi-kin) while others lost; some heavy weights of the pro-establishment camp won (Starry Lee, Leung Mei Fun, Wong Kwok-hing) while others lost (Chung Shu Gun and Elizabeth Quat). (‘Umbrella soldiers’ win eight seats as veteran politicians suffer surprise defeat ; Winners and losers in the 2015 Hong Kong District Council Elections ; What’s the message from the district council election? ; two pan-democratic big guns defeated and three new pro-Occupy candidates win seats; 區議會民選議席分佈最新結果 ; 大佬表現差傘兵有驚喜 泛民失守葵青 奪沙田一半議席 港人思變渴求新面孔)
Most results are extremely tight — the smallest winning margin involves only 3 votes. Where pro-democracy candidates competed against one another, they lost to pro-establishment candidates (Albert Ho’s and Frederick Fung’s cases). Apparently, fake umbrella troops could do the trick too (假傘兵鎅票成功 兩區泛民以些微票數敗予民建聯). (See below on fake umbrella troops). However, where pro-regime candidates competed against among themselves, pro-democracy candidates did not benefit (建制派內訌選區 勝算不減 建制無間道：中聯辦調動組織票 防民主派漁人得利).
Among candidates who are simultaneously legislators and district councillors, the pro-establishment camp fares better than the pro-democracy camp:
Umbrella soldiers won 8 seats. Newbies more often lost than won overall — yet, we should note that they ran in strong-holds of the pro-establishment camp and they lost with surprisingly narrow margins. Younginspiration fielded 9 candidates and one won. (Younginspirations’ statement) The winners claimed that they did not focus on the umbrella movement in their campaigns. (黃子健及楊雪盈：參選跟佔領運動無關). How did they win?
Not through first-time voters, but through the tested recipe of getting to know local residents 傘兵勝出靠「入屋」 街坊連屋企鎖匙都畀埋佢
Clarisse Yeung promotes “Good Day Wanchai”, a community platform to inspire civic participation in the district ; How an artist became a district councilor; 楊雪盈：我們提倡「公民平台」讓街坊參與區議會的決策，以及綠色、永續的生活方式; 楊雪盈淚謝大坑街坊
Facebook fail cost me district council seat, says pro-Beijing veteran Chris ‘Tree Gun’ Chung: “Our supporters thought, ‘you will win even if you are sleeping, right?”
Wen Wei Pao’s take 「傘兵」自爆內幕露出真面目
The pro-democracy camp won 21 more seats than the last time, taking 125 seats overall. Out of 226 coordinated candidates, 105 won. Democrats garnered more support in the Central-Western District, effectively debunking any talk of backlash after the occupy movement. The Democratic Party won 43 seats, 4 fewer than the last time. Against expectations, pan-democrats who exposed lead water scandal lost in major affected estates (村民唔係咁諗之關於鉛水啟德泛民慘敗). Civic Party and the Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood grabbed more seats than the last time. In contrast, more radical parties People Power, League of Social Democrats and Civic Passion did not win any seats and lost by wide margins. (黃洋達承認區選失敗向支持者致歉 強調熱血公民會堅持抗爭路線 ; 熱狗全軍盡墨分析) Neo-democrats, who broke away from the Democratic Party, fielded 16 candidates and won 15 seats. (16人出選僅1人落敗 新民主同盟大勝！) A lot of post-election analyses say that the results demonstrate the rise of localism in HK politics. It is worth noting that “localism” is not at all a new/post-umbrella phenomenon. Nor is it homogeneous. The label spans a wide spectrum in HK as elsewhere. All the pro-democracy forces assert local interests in terms of defending the HK part of the “one country, two systems” model. The radicals are more “nativist” in their campaigns to drive out mainlanders. The success of Neo-democrats may show that they strike the right balance for pro-democracy voters –positioning between traditional democrats (who are criticized for compromising with the Liaison Office) and radicals (who are criticized for advocating “the use of force against police violence” during the umbrella movement and staging anti-mainlander campaigns after). Note also that Neo-Democrats candidates have done solid local work in their respective districts (深耕社區 守護本土) . (A new Democratic Progressive Party Of Hong Kong seems to follow Neo-Democrats’ line 成立香港民進黨 楊繼昌：香港人價值優先)
Some pro-democracy candidates gained more than 1,000 votes over the last round: 多區泛民得票大升 票又從何來？
The pro-regime Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of HK won 119 seats, but 17 fewer than the last time. The equally pro-regime Federation of Trade Unions kept the same number of 29 seats. Also, Eight winning councillors acknowledged as Chinese state enterprise employees.
Some ways that the pro-establishment camp used to register new voters and canvass for votes:
Districts with police quarters witnessed dramatic increases in pro-establishment votes 紀律部隊投票激增 建制派得益
Fujian Association is suspected of copying personal info when they promoted voter registration earlier【電話催票選民資料何來?】
How the Liaison Office has helped the DAB raise huge funds over the years 張曉明帶挈 民建聯全年收入再破億 創歷史新高 十年吸金7.4億
Handouts: 馮檢基直言陳穎欣在區選中，策略是一個字「派」！按馮的觀察，陳獲得比以往多四至五倍的競選資源支持，以物質「搶」票，更以日日派飯盒籠絡長者，甚至向長者指「你幫馮檢基手喎，對唔住，冇飯盒畀你」，可以對手是衝著馮檢基而來。(馮檢基親解落敗原因 建制「省港旗兵」嚇親佢)
Why various pro-establishment candidates gained 1,000 votes compared with earlier elections (considering that winning candidates tend to get about 2000 votes)? 【票從何來？】多區泛民票不減仍連任失敗 同區民建聯得票升逾千; 馮檢基落選，𠝹票以外
Overall, the pro-establishment camp still controls far more seats than the pro-democracy camp, thus maintaining dominance in all District Councils. (All district council governing seats go to pro-Beijing camp; trading with pan-dems ‘disallowed’ ; 十 八 區 會 正 副 主 席 敲 定 嚴 禁 與 泛 民 「 交 易 」) Many districts were not even contested, with pro-establishment candidates automatically elected. (See below.)
Despite the pro-establishment camp’s dominance, the results still mean bad news for CY Leung. It is rumored that the Liaison Office wants the pro-establishment camp to win more seats than the last round if CY Leung is to run again in 2017. (【壹錘】建制贏幾多有利CY連任？) CY’s response is to coopt newbies by appointing them to advisory committees. (CY: I will invite young election candidates to join committees; 劉鳴煒邀約見面 青年新政梁頌恒：政府若只想招安無意思) Global Times says that “It’s increasingly significant to work on Hong Kong youth.” Albert Chan:
“the pro-establishment District Council election in Hong Kong is organized and controlled by the state apparatus of the Chinese Communist Government. I participated in District Council election since 1985, and won seven consecutive elections between 1985 and 2008. I can say that I have seen the transformation of elections in Hong Kong. After half a million people marched on the street in 2003, the Chinese Government formed the Central Coordination Group for Hong Kong and Macau Affairs. This Group was headed by the former Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China, Zeng Qinghong.” (Letter To Hong Kong: Albert Chan)
For a taste of pro-democracy vs. pro-Beijing voices online, see comments on the Economist’s story A new force emerges in Hong Kong’s politics
If the District Council elections mark the first test of city’s political sentiment after Occupy protests, the results are so mixed/divided that all parties and groups will be forced to completely rethink their plans for the Legislative Council elections next year. It seems that some districts are deeply divided, some are more pro-democracy, and some are more pro-regime. Three things are clear: 1) the pro-democracy camp has to catch up on registering new voters. 2) Pro-democracy voters want their representatives to stand firm on HK’s interest but without going overboard. 3) Across the entire spectrum, committed young candidates are favored over older candidates who have served multiple terms.
More charts at 2015區選 資訊圖合集
Before the general elections, there will be a by-election for the Legislative Council seat vacated by Ronny Tong. Can traditional democrats, umbrella soldiers and radicals agree to support only one candidate? (‘Umbrella soldier’ group invites Civic Party to hold a primary for coming LegCo by-election ; Pro-democrats to cooperate in New Territories East by-election ; 明年新東補選 泛民有暗湧; 青年新政為何公開提出新界東初選？; Younginspiration vs. Civic Party 所謂「同路人」的二元劃分)
Complaints flood election body in wake of district polls: These included hundreds of elderly people being brought to polling stations and coached which candidate to vote, according to Ming Pao Daily.
Vote planting 種票停不了？民建聯小花涉送禮氹改地址
Seniors were registered or changed addresses for them without their knowledge 長者選民參加建制議員活動疑「被搬屋」改地址
Pro-establishment camp take seniors to polling stations, arousing suspiction of vote manipulation Elderly people bussed to polling stations by ‘volunteers’ ;【九龍選戰】慈雲山建制疑出「金絲帶」車輛接送長者投票; 民建聯助選團 一對一扶院舍老人入票站; 神秘女「人肉速遞」長者投票 見記者即丟低輪椅伯; 中港牌車載院舍長者投票 票站分發身份證
Some people received voter registration notices for strangers–vote planting suspected【區選】選民收不明來歷投票通知書 康怡有懷疑種票個案
Private cars are mobilized by the pro-establishment camp to take voters to a polling station in Yuen Long 【區選 ‧ 八鄉南】原居民黎偉雄 vs 朱凱迪 大批私家車接送長者投票
Pre-ticked ballots are found in Tun Mun 屯門友愛南被發現派發預先Tick好選票
A voter has a DAB candidate’s no. written on the palm 「掌心雷」寫明候選人編號
Middle-aged women help canvass for votes for the pro-establishment camp【新界選戰】泛民資源懸殊 天水圍大媽團助建制拉票
Joshua Wong: “I will mainly be at the places with more elderly care centres – a lot of community groups and student organisations… are monitoring the situation [for] vote rigging.” (HKFP)
Wen Wei Po reports that the Hong Kong Police Inspectors’ Association Chairperson Ngo Chi-hang distributed four posters featuring pictures of disciplinary forces engaged in frontline law enforcement work, including one of the pro-democracy Occupy movement. The posters ask the force and their friends and their families to “cast a ballot you will not regret”, vote for “a candidate that contributes to the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, and only let “someone who does real work for the society” onto the Council. (HKFP)
A watchdog on the elections「解構區議會系列」研究
[Jan. 21, 2016] The govt rules out requirement of proof of address 政府完成選民登記諮詢 不要求地址證明 稱為免打擊市民登記意欲
I hope HK’s politicians and voters will correct the sexism in electoral politics:
The pro-regime DAB successfully redeployed the strategy using young beautiful women to defeat pro-democracy veterans 區選裏的新人上位與「小花策略」
Housewives voted against young female candidates (因為游蕙禎，我背叛了太太)
Written before the results:
Most analysts suggest a very difficult fight in the upcoming District Council elections on Nov. 22, 2015. The aftermath of the umbrella movement has not really boosted the chances of pro-democracy candidates. The election results could have rippling effects on the Legislative Council elections next year.
[Nov. 22, 2015] Election watch
The voting rates are higher this year at approx. 47%. “The key battleground of Lok Tsui in Tuen Mun saw a 50% voter turnout – 3,955 voted out of a total of 7,877 eligible voters.” “Raymond Wong says that there are two possibilities for the high turnout: either the pro-Beijing camp has organised their voters very well, or the Occupy protests last year successfully rallied the public.” (HKFP)
CY Leung had trouble finding the slot to insert his ballot (RTHK)
With the pro-Beijing camp seeking to demolish the pan-democrats’ all-important hold on one-third of the seats in Legco, which enabled them to vote down the government’s electoral reform package in June, it is critical for the pan-democrats to hold on to the three super seats.
… the pro-democracy political parties presented about 200 candidates… They will compete in around 250 constituencies. … ideally, they should field a candidate in every one of the over 430 constituencies. The situation reflects the difficulties of the pro-democracy groups. They do not have the resources to support their candidates in grassroots services; and not enough young professionals are willing to accept the sacrifices of long-term constituency work without much prospect of advancing beyond a District Councilor position. On the other hand, their counterparts in the pro-establishment camp have good chances of receiving appointments to important advisory committees, and positions in the government as political assistants and even deputy secretaries.
The pro-Beijing united front has been building a resourceful and increasingly sophisticated grassroots network and electoral machinery since 2003, and its effectiveness has been proven… the pro-establishment camp now controls a majority in all district councils and captures the bulk of the funding offered by the government for services at the district level. In contrast, the pro-democracy groups now hold about 85 seats in all the district councils, and they cannot influence the decision-making processes. Their limited resources available have been further handicapped by the fact that they can hardly secure resources from their district councils and the business community. This explains the pessimism in the pro-democracy camp.