2008 Hong Kong legislative election

The 2008 Hong Kong Legislative Council election was held on 7 September 2008[1] for the 4th Legislative Council since the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. There were 60 seats in the 4th Legislative Council, with 30 members elected by geographical constituencies through direct elections, and 30 members by functional constituencies.[2] Candidates for 14 functional constituency seats were unopposed.

2008 Hong Kong legislative election

 2004 7 September 2008 2012 

All 60 seats to the Legislative Council
31 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
Registered3,372,007 (GC) 5.14%
Turnout1,524,249 (45.20%) 10.44pp
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Tam Yiu-chung Albert Ho James Tien
Party DAB Democratic Liberal
Alliance Pro-Beijing Pan-democracy Pro-Beijing
Leader's seat New Territories West New Territories West New Territories East
(lost seat)
Last election 10 seats, 22.73% 9 seats, 25.19% 10 seats, 6.72%
Seats won 10[n 1] 8 7
Seat change 1 1 3
Popular vote 347,373 312,692 65,622
Percentage 22.92% 20.63% 4.33%
Swing 0.19pp 4.56pp 2.39pp

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
Leader Audrey Eu Cheng Yiu-tong Wong Yuk-man
Party Civic FTU LSD
Alliance Pan-democracy Pro-Beijing Pan-democracy
Leader's seat Hong Kong Island Did not stand Kowloon West
Last election New party 3 seats, 2.97% New party
Seats won 5 4[n 1] 3
Seat change 1 1 1
Popular vote 206,980 86,311 153,390
Percentage 13.66% 5.70% 10.12%
Swing 7.04pp 2.73pp N/A

  Seventh party Eighth party Ninth party
Leader Leung Yiu-chung Lau Chin-shek Bruce Liu
Alliance Pan-democracy Pan-democracy Pan-democracy
Leader's seat New Territories West Kowloon West
(lost seat)
Did not stand
Last election 1 seat, 3.33% 1 seat, 3.95% 1 seat, 4.22%
Seats won 1 1 1
Seat change
Popular vote 42,441 42,366 42,211
Percentage 2.80% 2.80% 2.79%
Swing 0.53pp 1.15pp 1.43pp

Elected candidates by each constituency

President before election

Rita Fan

Elected President

Tsang Yok-sing

The turnout rate was 45 percent with 1.51 million voters casting the ballots, about 10 percent lower than the previous election in 2004. The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB) remained the largest single party in the Legislative Council with 13 seats if including the two members of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (FTU) while the pro-business Liberal Party suffered a big defeat by losing the two heavyweights, chairman James Tien and vice-chairwoman Selina Chow lost their seats in the New Territories East and the New Territories West. The duo resigned from their party positions and Chow resigned from the Executive Council after the election, which was followed by a great split of the party.[3]

In the backdrop of a deteriorating economy and rising inflation, the pro-grassroots parties scored victories as the new pro-democracy party League of Social Democrats (LSD) had their three candidates elected and the FTU also won in two seats in the geographical constituencies. The pro-democracy flagship party Democratic Party retook the second largest party status despite losing one seat to its ally, the new middle-class oriented Civic Party which took two seats in Hong Kong Island with party leader Audrey Eu stood as the second candidate behind party's new face Tanya Chan.

The share of the pan-democratic parties' vote among voters dropped from 60 percent in 2004 to 57 percent, which translated into a net loss of two seats compared to the last election. The pan-democrats were elected to a total of 23 seats, 19 seats in the directly elected geographical constituencies, and four seats from the functional constituencies. By virtue of having in excess of one-third of the seats in Legislative Council, their ability to veto constitutional changes remained intact. The pan-democrats' veto power was seen as crucial for the electoral arrangements for the 2012 Legislative Council election, which would take place during this session.[4]