Divided Hong Kong braces for poll that will test public support for protests

A hard punch in the head was the last thing Jocelyn Chau expected when she decided to stand as a pan-democratic candidate in this Sunday’s Hong Kong’s district elections, but the sickening assault on the 23-year-old was a sign of the city’s bitter political divisions after six months of anti-government protests.

The global financial hub is bracing for a historically low-key poll which has now gained outsized importance, both as a measure of public opinion of the government’s handling of the political crisis, and of society’s patience with a protest movement which has often brought the city to a standstill.

More than 30,000 riot officers will be on standby to protect polling stations as some four…

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