The Second Hong Kong Chief Executive Election Debate

Newspaper Headlines:

(South China Morning Post)  Tsang wins on policy but Leong excels at debate.  By Jimmy Cheung, Klaudia Lee, Denise Hung and Albert Wong.

Donald Tsang Yam-kuen outshone Alan Leong Kah-kit on public policy issues, while losing out to his rival on debating skills last night in the city's second election debate, according to a University of Hong Kong poll.  The chief executive met Mr Leong, his Civic Party challenger, in a combative encounter televised live. Organised by the city's eight electronic media organisations, the debate was the first - and only - election forum at which members of the public could take part.  ... 

It saw Mr Tsang abandoning his guarded approach of the first face-off two weeks ago and cornering his Civic Party challenger on various fronts, including Mr Leong's strategies on universal suffrage and his awareness of the operations of Cyberport, a controversial project criticised as an example of government collusion with business.  Mr Leong, who impressed the audience with his eloquent attacks last time, remained critical of government policy failures such as the lack of small-class teaching and a fair competition law.  Both candidates avoided making new election promises, but engaged in sharp exchanges over the accuracy of education spending figures and the fiscal reserves.

Mr Leong sought to contrast himself with Mr Tsang, saying he represented people without power, money or the vote.  But Mr Tsang swiftly retorted: "I not only represent those who don't have votes. Whether they have the vote or no vote, are powerful or powerless, wealthy or poor, Hong Kong people are my bosses. I won't make Hong Kong a battleground for them and divide the rich and the poor."

(The Standard)  A Fighting Finish.  By Michael Ng.

A better-prepared Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen Thursday took on challenger Alan Leong Kah-kit in the final sparring match before the March 25 election - and the Hong Kong University's public survey program called the outcome a draw.  The 90-minute session was sprinkled with barbs as each tried to score points, bringing spontaneous applause despite organizers' calls for restraint.

(am730; no link)

(in translation: Tsang: "Everyone is my boss"; Leong: "You must have an admission ticket (vote) first in order to be the boss.")

(Apple Daily) (note: I'm presently outside of Hong Kong and therefore cannot access the contents)

(titles of relevant articles in translation)
- Chief Executive election forum: Alan Leong defeats Donald Tsang once more
- Tsang and Leong take opposite views
- Inside and outside the venue, the audience were mostly supportive of Pocket Kerchief
- Netizens speak out: The response on Hong Kong independence was quite embarrassing
- The scene at the APM mall was like a live World Cup broadcast

(Headline News; no link)

(in translation: Second forum battle; Tsang corrects expenses required for small classes; Alan Leong gets the numbers wrong once again)

(Ming Pao)

梁辯才險勝 曾贏民心; 支持度曾拋離四成 (in translation: Leong ekes out victory in debate; Tsang won in popular opinion; Tsang 40% ahead of in support level)

(Oriental Daily)

次輪特首辯論鬥抹黑 (in translation: second round of Chief Executive debate; battle to out-smear each other)

袋巾續主攻煲呔穩守突擊 (in translation: Pocket Kerchief continues to attack; Bowtie plays steady defense with sudden counterattacks)

(Sing Pao)

(in translation: Donald Tsang goes from defense to offense at election forum; directly deplored Alan Leong for creating divisions among people.)

(Sing Tao)

(in translation: After vigorous debate, Tsang is certain to win)

(The Sun)

曾梁再過招 空洞無新意; 選舉騷鬥抹黑謾罵 (in translation: Tsang and Leong joust again; vacuous and devoid of new ideas; the election show was a contest in smearing and insulting)

曾略進步 梁無新招  (in translation: Mild improvement by Tsang; no new gimmicks from Leong)

(Ta Kung Pao)

做工做騷優劣立見 (in translation: Going to work, putting on a show; it is easy to see who is better and who is worse)

(Wen Wei Po)

煲呔忠告袋巾勿煽階級鬥爭  (in translation: Bowtie kindly advised Pocket Kerchief not to inflame class struggle)

掌聲「表態」 觀眾信有人搞「港獨」  (in translation: Applause to show "position" -- audience believed certain persons are going for "Hong Kong independence")

辯論表現佳 曾支持度再升  (in translation: Good performance in debate; Tsang support level rises again)

Survey Results:

(Ming Pao)

Hong Kong University Public Opinion Programme: 520 persons who watched 5 minutes or more the debate were interviewed during the program.

Q1.  Who performed better in the debate? (time/% for Tsang/% for Leong/number of respondents)
8:38pm, 36.4%, 35.5%, 107
9:05pm, 38.4%, 38.8%, 245
9:25pm, 37.3%, 40.1%, 332
Final results (3/15) 38.5%, 38.8%, 520
First debate results (3/1) 46.5%, 33.9%, 508

Q2. If you had a vote tomorrow, who would you vote for?
8:38pm, 71.0%, 16.8%, 107
9:06pm, 67.6%, 21.1%, 247
9:26pm, 64.7%, 22.3%, 337
Final results (3/15) 64.8%, 21.9%, 520
First debate results (3/1) 67.9%, 21.9%, 492

Q3. Compared to the first debate, Donald Tsang was ...? (time/better/worse/number of respondents)
8:38pm, 53.3%, 9.3%, 107
9:06pm, 55.9%, 8.5%, 247
9:26pm, 55.8%, 8.9%, 337
Final results (3/15) 54.4%, 10.2%, 520

Q4. Compared to the first debate on March 1, Alan Leong was ... ? (time/better/worse/number of respondents)
8:38pm, 36.4%, 15.0%, 107
9:07pm, 38.1%, 15.4%, 247
9:26pm, 38.3%, 15.2%, 342
Final results (3/15), 37.9%, 16.2%, 520

Lingnan University: 663 persons were interviewed:

After watching the 3/15 debate, your impression of Donald Tsang ... (numbers in parentheses are for the March 1 poll after the first debate)
Worse: 10.7% (13.1%)
Better: 33.6% (26.7%)
Unchanged: 53.8% (57.4%)
Don't know/no opinion: 1.7% (2.6%)
Refused: 0.2% (0.2%)

After watching the 3/15 debate, your impression of Alan Leong ...
(numbres in parentheses are for the March 1 poll after the first debate)
Better: 33.3% (36.5%)
Worse: 18.3% (20.9%)
Unchanged: 42.8% (35.2%)
Don't know/no opinion: 5.3% (7.2%)
Refused: 0.3% (0.2%)

(SCMP)  'Viewing figures show more feel involved'  By Denise Hung.  March 17, 2007.

About 2.1 million people watched the second election debate, televised live on Thursday night, compared with 1.75 million viewers for the first debate.  The second 90-minute debate was organised by the city's eight electronic media organisations and was broadcast in prime-time starting at 8pm.  Spokesmen for free-to-air broadcasters TVB and ATV said the average viewer rating for the debate was 32 points, with the highest rating 35.6 points - equivalent to 2.07 million viewers and 2.3 million viewers, respectively, for the TVB Jade and ATV Home channels.