SCMP Saturday, September 9, 2000


ELECTION 2000

Pollster predicts 43-48pc will vote

JIMMY CHEUNG and NG KANG-CHUNG

Turnout for tomorrow's Legislative Council polls will be in the range of 43 to 48 per cent, according to pollster Robert Chung Ting-yiu.
Surveys carried out among registered voters since nominations closed in early August showed those who said they would vote rose from 68 per cent to 78 per cent this month and remained steady.
But Dr Chung, of the University of Hong Kong, said in his POP Express Election Extra that he expected tomorrow's turnout rate would fall to between 43 and 48 per cent. The election in 1998 saw a turnout of 53 per cent.
The surveys covered more than 14,900 registered voters, with a response rate of 66.7 per cent.
A survey carried out by the social policy research centre of Polytechnic University found 73 per cent of 1,047 respondents were unable to state the number of campaign tickets in their constituencies.
Of the 323 respondents who had decided who they would vote for, 67 per cent were supporters of government critics such as The Frontier, the Democrats, the Confederation of Trade Unions or the April Fifth Action group.
Results from another poll conducted by Lingnan University found 55 per cent of eligible voters wanted the Chief Executive's post to be open for direct election as early as this year or next year.
About 46 per cent said the legislature should be directly elected now. The poll interviewed 520 eligible voters between Tuesday and Thursday.
Researcher Dr Li Pang-kwong said his poll also showed many voters would avoid Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong candidates after the Gary Cheng scandal.