Radical democrats are the big winners in the Legislative Council election - and they're set to give Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying an even tougher time when they exercise their new muscle.
The radicals scooped up five of the hotly contested 35 geographical constituency seats and helped the pan- democrats retain their veto power with a total haul of 27 seats.
Political scientists believe the surge of the radicals in Legco will make Leung's governance even more difficult.
People Power and the League of Social Democrats, whose banana- throwing and filibustering have awed, irked and amused people, struck a chord among the voters, who sent all three veterans back to Legco and added two more of their kind, including the young Neo Democrats.
People Power, led by "Mad Dog" Raymond Wong Yuk-man, won three seats; the LSD took one seat for "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung; and their newly established radical ally Neo Democrats won a seat for Gary Fan Kwok-wai.
The milder Civic Party - which was trounced in the last District Council election for supporting the judicial review on the permanent residency rights of foreign domestic helpers - came back strongly, winning six seats, one more than in the 2008 elections.
The Democratic Party, wounded by its support of the government's 2010 electoral reform, won four seats, two down from the last Legco election. Chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan resigned yesterday for the shock loss.
Raymond Wong said: "The latest election results show that radical and opposition forces have become an emerging force in the political field and the political spectrum has been widened."
Party member Albert Chan Wai-yip said: "Although radical forces have surged, pan-democrats , as a whole, been defeated disastrously in the geographical constituencies."
Pan-democrats won only 18 of the 35 geographical seats while the pro- establishment camp grabbed 17 seats.
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology political analyst Dixon Sing Ming said: "More pro-democracy voters have become dissatisfied with the Democratic Party, which is seen as moderate and not aggressive enough to monitor Leung's government."
Lingnan University's Li Pang- kwong believes many voters are angry at the chief executive over the drive for national education as well as upset with the Democratic Party's performance.
The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong was able to capture more seats than in 2008 through its vote-splitting tactics, said Li.
DAB chairman Tam Yiu-chung said the party won more votes in geographical constituencies with the vote- splitting strategy.
Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah- kit admitted it was not easy for pan- democratic parties with different manifestos and ideologies to cooperate.
"I think that the pro-democracy camp needs to talk," Leong said. "It is necessary for us to cooperate and we can't afford any further splits."
Pan-democrats won in six functional constituencies - information technology, accountancy, legal, education, social welfare and health services.
The Democratic Party's James To Kun-sun and Ho, and Frederick Fung Kin-kee of the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood won three of the five super seats.
Analyst Li said the radical surge in Legco means Leung's government will face greater challenges as the opposition forces will obstruct any controversial policies launched.
And he added that Leung might not easily win the support of the pro- establishment camp.