The pro-democracy camp in Hong Kong lost the power to veto due to failure to gain enough seats in their favor. The election was neck-to-neck in a seventy-seat legislation with results that were awaited with much fervor. The Democrats won two out of the four seats that were available.
The opposing party fell short of a single seat and this left them with a lack of power to vote against a majority of bills in the legislature.
Why did the by-election take place?
Six pro-democracy lawmakers were expelled from the public office for having invalidated their oaths over the office. Their expulsion triggered the by-election in which two remaining seats are yet to be filled.
53-year-old Surveyor Edward Yiu was among those who had been expelled. The public, however, had thought that he would regain his seat in the by-election. As it turned out, Yiu lost a closely-fought election in the district of Kowloon. Vincent Cheng won over Yiu by a very small margin.
How the results of the by-election took the participants by surprise
The legislative council elections in 2016 saw a voter turnout of 58%, 13% more than the voter turnout for the current elections.
The elections were a chance for the citizens to voice their opinions about the expulsion of the six lawmakers.
In earlier elections, the pro-democracy bloc used to get roughly 55%-60% of the direct votes in their favor. This is the first time that a pro-establishment candidate has gotten 49.9% of the votes as compared to Yiu's 48.4% of the votes.
The by-election did not serve the outcome that was expected by the pro-democracy party. The aim behind holding the by-elections was to regain favor among the citizens but the plan took the opposite route.
Yiu's defeat had also been a surprising one and completely unexpected since they have always had the upper hand in elections in general. It is an indicator that perhaps the stronghold of pan-democrats may be in danger and that their influence may be possibly shrinking.
Analysts have predicted the reason for Yiu's failure to be his unconventional campaign methods. The party failed to get enough support from low-income voters.
Yiu also ditched the traditional campaign process of going from door-to-door, requesting votes in public housing estates.
It seems as though there were more than a few reasons for the outcome of the by-election having turned out the way it did.