Opposition to Hong Kong vote plan exceeds support for first time: Poll

In this picture taken on April 26, 2015 in Hong Kong, a pan-democrat arranges leaflets against the government's controversial leadership election roadmap which sticks to a ruling from Beijing that all candidates should be vetted before a public vote
In this picture taken on April 26, 2015 in Hong Kong, a pan-democrat arranges leaflets against the government's controversial leadership election roadmap which sticks to a ruling from Beijing that all candidates should be vetted before a public vote in 2017. -- PHOTO: AFP 

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - Opposition to a China-backed plan for the first election of Hong Kong's chief executive rose, surpassing approval levels for the first time since the government unveiled the proposal in April.

Some 43 per cent of respondents opposed the proposal, according to a tracking poll by a coalition of universities. That's up from 37.6 per cent at the start of the survey in late April. Support for the proposal slipped to 41.7 per cent.

The legislation requires candidates for the 2017 election to be chosen by a 1,200-member nominating committee before the public vote. Pro-democracy groups argue the system is designed to ensure only Beijing loyalists will be able to compete.

The survey shift comes less than a week before the government is due to present the election plan for a vote in the city's legislature. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying needs support from at least four pro-democracy lawmakers to secure the two-third majority needed for passage.

Ms Carrie Lam, the city's No 2 official, saw very slim chances of lawmakers approving the government's electoral plan as all 27 pro-democracy legislators continue to vow to oppose the plan, the South China Morning Post reported Wednesday. The proposal was the catalyst of nearly three months of street protests in the Asian financial hub last year.

The Chinese University of Hong Kong, the University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Polytechnic University jointly conduct the survey. The poll queried 1,115 adults between June 3 and June 7 and didn't provide a margin of error.