The failure of “keep the critical vote” appeal
The recent Legco by-election polling data suggested that “keep the critical votes” no longer appeal to the voters. But why? How important are the pan-democratic camp votes in the Legco? Did the pan-democratic legislators treasure their votes in past?
Despite the political storm of disqualifying the Legco by-election candidates in the past few weeks, Hong Kong has just passed one of the quietest election with a low-turnout rate. Candidates of the Pan-democracy camp have been using “keep the critical votes” as an emergency appeal to call for more voters. Yet, they failed to win all of the four seats back, as polling result suggests that there’s a shrink of its vote share.
The total turnout rate of the by-election dropped by more than 4 percent against the 2016 by-election and 18.2 percent against the general election.
Apart from the failure of political campaigns and appeal to the local supporters admitted by the candidates, some voters expressed their disappointment towards the past performance of the pan-democratic legislators by “cast the vote in the sea”, which literally means casting a blank vote.
In three recent by-elections, the blank vote rate reached 3.4 percent in 2010’s controversial “Five Constituency Referendum”, followed by a significant drop to 0.38 percent in 2016, and in this year rose up to 0.92 percent.
“I don’t trust that they (Pan-democratic candidates) can keep the critical votes anymore. I would rather cast a blank vote than send them back to the Legco,” said Calvin Lung Chi-hung, Kowloon West geographical constituency voter, 37.
Michael Ho Tsz-him, 23, voter of the Hong Kong Island geographical constituency said that he refused to vote in the by-election as he is tired of the “keep the critical vote” appeal.
“Those Democrats(always) claim that this is the time to defend our rights and so on. This is something like The Boy Who Cried Wolf, everytime you use the same card. This is not going to work to me or my fellows again,” said Michael.