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2 defeats in 8 months add up to a wake-up call for the pro-democrats

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Pro-democracy candidate Lee Cheuk-yan lost the Kowloon West legislative by-election and the opposition failed to regain the veto power in the Legislative Council (Legco). His main rival, the pro-establishment Chan Hoi-yan, got 106,457 votes, beating Lee’s 93,047 votes by more than 13,000.

The second runner-up was spoiler candidate Frederick Fung Kin-kee, with 12,509 votes. Some critics suggest Lee never stood a chance and would have lost even if pro-democrat Fung had not joined the race. However, considering the numbers, if Fung had stayed out of the contest and canvassed for the pan-democracy camp, it could have won.

Still, there are plenty of reasons for the defeat. This is the second time in eight months the pan-democracy camp has lost a by-election. The days of the so-called 6:4 golden ratio – when the pro-democrats always captured 60 per cent of the votes, versus the pro-establishment parties’ 40 per cent – are basically over. If the pro-democrats persist with their outdated visions and do not face reality, they are likely to suffer an even more brutal defeat in the upcoming District Council and Legco elections.

The pan-democracy camp rose from the ashes of the June 4 incident in 1989. In the following 20 years, pan-democrats ran in single-seat elections on a single........

© South China Morning Post