|Founded||2 October 2010|
|Split from||Democratic Party|
|Headquarters||Flat F, 22/F, 6–20|
Yin Chong Street,
|Ideology||Hong Kong localism|
Liberalism (Hong Kong)
|Regional affiliation||Pro-democracy camp|
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Politics and government|
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|Related topics Hong Kong portal|
The Neo Democrats (Chinese: 新民主同盟) is a pro-democracy localist political group in Hong Kong composed mainly of former and disenchanted members of the Democratic Party New Territories East branch after the 2012 constitutional reform proposals. It formerly had one seat in the Legislative Council until Gary Fan lost his re-election in the 2016 Legislative Council election. It currently holds 12 seats in the District Councils, mostly in New Territories East. Fan who is the key person of the party regained his seat in the New Territories East in the 2018 by-election.
The Neo Democrats identified themselves initially as a grouping within the Democratic Party, opposed to its rejection of the Five Constituencies Referendum and concessions towards Beijing that the party was offering in the run-up to the LegCo vote on the Hong Kong government's proposals for democratic reform. It said it aimed to repair the damaged relationship between the Democratic Party and its pan-democratic allies.
As the Neo Democrats styled themselves a continuation of the United Democrats of Hong Kong, they chose to found the group on an anniversary of both the dissolution of UDHK and the foundation of the Democratic Party.
Then on 19 December 2010, thirty members including seven district councillors in the New Territories East resigned from the Democratic Party to formally create the new group. The departees included former party vice-chairman Chan King-ming and at least five other founding members, together representing around ten percent of the Democratic Party's district councillors and just under five percent of its membership.
Organisation and membership
The Neo Democrats' leadership comprises four 'convenors', who take individual charge for rotating six-month terms. Convenors currently include Gary Fan.
Immigration and Localism
The Neo Democrats represented by Gary Fan have been calling for the government to take back the approval rights on one-way permits from Chinese authorities and to reduce the quota of such permits. Fan also refers to immigrants from mainland China and the quota of 150 daily permits as "the root of the housing problem".
In September 2013, Gary Fan co-sponsored a controversial ad which claimed that cutting people from the source of immigration would help the people of Hong Kong to get to the bottom of the housing problem, while rejecting claims of bias or discrimination against mainlanders, despite condemnation from the Equal Opportunities Commission. Fan later introduced a motion on adhering to the need to "put Hong Kong people first" in formulating policies, but the motion was ultimately defeated. Fan's motion was rejected by both camps of pro-Beijing and pan-democrats.
In the 2015 District Council election, Neo Democrats became the best performers when 15 out of their 16 candidates fielded won, the total number of seats having increased from 7 to 15 since the previous election. They became one of the successful group in the pan-democrats, compare to other pan-democrat groups.
Frankie Lam returned to Neo Democrat in April 2016. He is a Sai Kung District Council member and was a Neo Democrat member in 2010, before the group formally split from the Democratic Party. Lam decided to remain in the Democratic Party until 2016, due to Neo Democrat is the largest pan-democrat party in Sai Kung District Council.
In the 2016 Legislative Council election, the Neo Democrats initially planned to field candidates in Kowloon East, New Territories West, District Council (Second), as well as seek for re-election in its incumbent New Territories East seat. It later decided to field two lists in New Territories East and District Council (Second) "super seat" despite the group's breakaway from the Democratic Party due to its opposition to the creation of the five "super seats" in 2010. Kwan Wing-yip, Neo Democrats' District Council (Second) candidate, refused to join the pan-democracy camp's coordination plan initiated by Benny Tai to avoid splitting the pro-democracy votes, abandoned his campaign one day before the election due to the pressure to help the pan-democracy camp to win three seats. As a result, Kwan's ticket won only 1.24 per cent of the vote share and its sole legislator Gary Fan lost his re-election in New Territories East by winning 5.44 per cent of the vote share. Three Sha Tin District Councillors, Billy Chan Shiu-yeung, Chiu Chu-pong and Yau Man-chun, defected to former legislator Andrew Cheng during the election were expelled from the party on 6 September.
Fan returned to the Legislative Council in the 2018 New Territories by-election following the disqualification of localist Baggio Leung of Youngspiration over the Legislative Council oath-taking controversy in March. He was elected with more than 180,000 votes, defeating the pro-Beijing common candidate Tang Ka-piu of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (FTU) and the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB).
Performance in elections
Legislative council elections
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District council elections
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|New Territories East||Gary Fan|
|Tsuen Wan||Ma Wan||Tam Hoi-pong|
|North||Wah Ming||Chan Wai-tat|
|Tin Ping East||Lau Ki-fung|
|Tai Po||Yee Fu||Yam Kai-bong|
|Fu Ming Sun||Kwan Wing-yip|
|Po Nga||Chow Yuen-wai|
|Sai Kung||Kin Ming||Leung Li|
|O Tong||Lui Man-kwong|
|Kwan Po||Lai Ming-chak|
|Hong King||Frankie Lam Siu-chung|
|Yan Ying||Ben Chung Kam-lun|
|Wan Hang||Gary Fan Kwok-wai|
|Sha Tin||Chui Ka||Li Sai-hung|
- Democrats lick wounds as 30 reform radicals quit Archived 16 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine, The Standard, Colleen Lee, 20 December 2010
- Press review by Swiss Consulate General, Oct 2010, accessed 24 January 2011
- Sai Kung District Council Members (2008–2011)
- Neo Democrats set out their store, RTHK, 23 January 2011, Accessed 23 January 2011
- "Lawmakers deny bias against mainlanders". The Standard. 15 October 2013. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013.
- Lo, Alex (15 October 2013). "Lawmakers Gary Fan and Claudia Mo take disingenuous stand on housing". South China Morning Post.
- Chong, Tanna (14 October 2013). "Legislators defend controversial advert on mainland migrants". South China Morning Post.
- But, Joshua (12 October 2013). "Head of equality watchdog condemns lawmakers' ad on mainland migrants". South China Morning Post.
- "Legislaitve Council of Hong Kong" (PDF).
- Leung, Stanley (8 September 2016). "Defections within his party led to loss to pro-estab. candidate, says Neo Democrat Gary Fan".
- "Election Result - New Territories East". Electoral Affairs Commission.