Polls clash on Tsang or Lam as next chief

Local | 14 Mar 2017

Chief executive candidate John Tsang Chun-wah leads Carrie Lam by a whopping 16 percentage points if people could vote for the SAR's next leader, according to a Lingnan University survey commissioned by the centrist Future@Hong Kong.

But another poll by the pro- establishment Hong Kong Research Association showed Lam slightly ahead of Tsang.

The Lingnan-Future survey polled 1,014 citizens from March 1-7, and found that 43.9 percent would cast their ballot for Tsang if they had the right to vote. Another 27.6 percent supported Lam, and 12.7 percent backed Woo Kwok-hing.

Still, 46.5 percent believed Lam - said to be Beijing's choice - would be the best choice in "enhancing mutual understanding and respect of the mainland and Hong Kong," while 28.7 percent chose Tsang, and 3.9 percent Woo.

But respondents said Tsang would be the best to improve "executive- legislative relationship," and enhance economic prosperity.

The poll also found 69.4 percent agreed the central government should not express support for one candidate, and that candidates should be allowed to freely seek support from Election Committee members.

"There should first be an election, then the appointment. By saying whom it wants to appoint even before the election, Beijing had destroyed the function of the election," said Future@Hong Kong member Shih Wing-ching.

The group's convener, Fred Li Wah- ming, said: "From news reports, we know that the more Beijing supports one candidate, the more Hongkongers will be against her.

"I believe Beijing has already learned it, or else how can you explain why it no longer names its chosen candidate?"

The Hong Kong Research Association polled 1,365 citizens from March 6 to 12. About 40 percent of respondents supported Lam, while 37 percent chose Tsang, and 12 percent went for Woo.

The same poll found Lam has the biggest chance to become CE (70 percent), Tsang got 18 percent, and Woo 3 percent.

Meanwhile, Executive Council convener Lam Woon-kwong said on a radio program that CE candidates are using psychological tactics.

"Normally, one would not vote for someone who will certainly lose," he said, adding one of the factors the 1,194 Election Committee members would consider is each candidate's chance of victory.

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