2010 Hong Kong electoral reform

Animated gif of parody logo ('All Wrong' & 'Collect Skin' superimposed on official logo 'Act Now')
Street shot showing 'Act Now' banners in support of the Government's electoral reform campaign
podium shot of Donald Tsang (left) ready to engage Audrey Eu (right) in debate on 17 June 2010

The series of events began in 2009 and finalised in 2010 under the Consultation Document on the Methods for Selecting the Chief Executive and for Forming the Legislative Council in 2012, a document published on 18 November 2009 by the Government of Hong Kong to broaden the scope of political participation and increase the democratic elements in the 2012 elections in line with the Hong Kong Basic Law.

- 2010 Hong Kong electoral reform

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Donald Tsang

Former Hong Kong civil servant who served as the second Chief Executive of Hong Kong from 2005 to 2012.

Tsang at the 2012 World Economic Forum
Donald Tsang meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the APEC Australia 2007.
Donald Tsang and his wife, Selina, Lady Tsang, in 2008.

In his seven years of term, he proposed two constitutional reform proposals in 2005 and 2010 and saw the second ones passed after he reached a compromise with the pro-democracy legislators, making it the first and only political reform proposals to be passed in the SAR history.

Election Committee (Hong Kong)

Hong Kong electoral college, the function of which is to select the Chief Executive and, since 2021, to elect 40 of the 90 members of the Legislative Council.

The number of members of the Election Committee increased from 800 to 1,200 after the breakthrough on the electoral reform in 2010 for the 2012 Chief Executive election.

Civic Party

Pro-democracy liberal political party in Hong Kong.

The Civic Party joined the League of Social Democrats (LSD) in the "Five Constituencies Referendum" campaign in 2010 to pressure the government to implement the universal suffrage of the Chief Executive and Legislative Council in 2012 over the constitutional reform package.

League of Social Democrats

Social democratic party in Hong Kong.

In 2010, the League launched the "Five Constituencies Referendum" campaign to pressure the government to implement universal suffrage no later than 2012.

2010 Hong Kong by-elections

Election held on 16 May 2010 in Hong Kong for all five geographical constituencies of the Legislative Council , triggered by the resignation of five pan-democrat Legislative Councillors in January of the same year.

Five resigning democrats at a rally on 27 January 2010.
Some controversial Hong Kong comics have also been made by artists inspired by the referendum.

Although the Basic Law of Hong Kong does not provide for official referenda, the pan-democrats hope that by returning the resignees to the Legislative Council, on their manifesto of real political reform in Hong Kong and the abolition of functional constituencies, the election can be seen as a de facto referendum and an endorsement of these issues.

Democratic Party (Hong Kong)

Centre-left liberal political party in Hong Kong.


The party made a surprising move by negotiating with the Beijing officials over the constitutional reform package in 2010.

Chief Executive of Hong Kong

Representative of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and head of the Government of Hong Kong.

Government House, official residence of the chief executive

As a result of enabling legislation stemming from a Conspublic consultation in 2010, and its approval by the National People's Congress Standing Committee in Beijing, the number of representatives was increased from 800 to 1200.

Pro-democracy camp (Hong Kong)

The pro-democracy camp refers to a political alignment in Hong Kong that supports increased democracy, namely the universal suffrage of the Chief Executive and the Legislative Council as given by the Basic Law under the "One Country, Two Systems" framework.

There have been severe conflicts and distrust between the two factions and a great split after the constitutional reform voting in 2010, where the Democratic Party negotiated with the Beijing representatives and supported the modified reform proposal and was thus seen as a betrayal by the radical democrats.

Legislative Council of Hong Kong

Unicameral legislature of Hong Kong.

The Legislative Council Building (1985–2011)
Central Government Offices, home to Legco from the 1950s to 1985
The French Mission Building housed LegCo in the 1840s
Andrew Leung, the incumbent President of the Legislative Council.
Vote share of the Legislative Council elections by party since 1991.
Seating plan of the Legislative Council.

In 2010, the government's constitutional reform proposal became the first and only constitutional move to have been passed by the Legislative Council in the SAR era with the support of the Democratic Party after the Beijing government accepted the modified package as presented by the party, which increased the composition of the Legislative Council from 60 to 70 seats; adding five seats in the directly elected geographical constituencies and five new District Council (Second) functional constituency seats which are nominated by the District Councillors and elected by all registered electorates.

Leung Kwok-hung

Hong Kong politician and social activist.

Leung in 2012
Members of the April Fifth Action in Victoria Park, Hong Kong in 2009 to commemorate the victims in the 1989 Tiananmen massacre.
Leung in his iconic Che Guevara T-shirt in 2005
Leung speaking at the 2020 pro-democracy primary debates
Leung speaking at a protest in 2003

Leung accused the Democratic Party for not participating in the campaign and instead reached a controversial agreement with the Beijing government over the reform proposal.