Skip to navigationSkip to content

Hong Kong’s historic 2016 Legislative Council election, in five charts

Reuters/Bobby Yip
Electoral officers empty a ballot box at a vote counting center in Hong Kong, September 5, 2016.
Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Hong Kong voters turned up in record numbers on Sunday (Sept. 4) to vote for the city’s 70 legislative council members, and ushered in a new era in the city’s politics by electing six newcomers who ran on campaigns of  “localism,” or preserving Hong Kong’s culture, values, and autonomous rule.

Voters set a record for overall numbers and rate of voter participation:

Two years after the Umbrella Movement protests that ground the city to a halt, the election results are seen as younger voters’ rebellion against the city’s “old seafood” generation, a slang phrase that in Cantonese that refers to the older generation who keep trying to control everything in the city. But actually the number of older voters increased, in part because the city’s population is aging:

But even an aging population doesn’t explain the massive jump in the number of registered voters in their sixties:

Several local papers reported that senior citizens were being driven to polling booths by pro-Beijing parties, and instructed to vote for their candidate.

Still, the net result was fewer pro-establishment, or pro-Beijing, leaders in the legislature overall:

The biggest losers were the traditional pro-democracy parties, whose popular vote share fell by about 20% as long-time democracy fighters made way for younger faces who grew out of the Umbrella Movement:

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.