The so-called District Council Super Seats are, for many voters, the mystery seats. The public arrived at the polls for the last LegCo elections in 2012 finding they got to vote twice – and many had no clue what the second form was for.
The electoral reform in 2010 sought to democratise the functional constituency seats – a little bit. Five seats were added to LegCo that are voted on by the general population of Hong Kong, who don’t have votes in other functional constituency seats.
The process of district council elections acts as a filter, as only district councillors may contest these seats. At the LegCo elections, the top five go through and become LegCo members.
Knocking out a strong super seat contender at the district council level will limit the number of star candidates that can be presented for LegCo elections in 2016. For the broader campaigns of pan-democrats and pro-establishment, it is part of the long struggle to control LegCo.
Some district council seats featuring likely super seat contenders are, therefore, proving key battlegrounds. One of the most hotly contested seats will be the Lok Tsui Constituency in Tuen Mun, which sees incumbent Albert Ho Chun-yan (何俊仁) (Democratic Party) facing a two-front war from Civic Passion’s Cheng Chung-tai (鄭松泰) and former Law Society president Junius Ho Kwan-yiu (何君堯) (independent) from the pro-establishment camp. Also running in the district are Yuen Wai-chung (阮偉忠), Cheung Wing-wai (張永偉), and Shum Kam-tim (沈錦添).
Over in Kowloon, Frederick Fung Kin-kee (馮檢基), (Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood) the incumbent pro-democracy councillor in Sham Shui Po’s Lai Kok district, which is traditionally ALDP-rooted, will be challenged by both Chan Wing Yan (陳穎欣) (Federation of Trade Unions), and old comrade Eric Wong Chung-ki (黃仲祺) (independent). As Wong is an ex-member of ALDP and an ex-Democratic Party member, there are widespread, if unverified, rumours among parties that he’s standing in Lai Kok with the express intent to cut into Frederick Fung’s votes.