Pro-democracy group makes big gains in Hong Kong elections

Hong Kong's opposition pro-democracy movement has made strong gains in the Chinese territory's district council elections, local media reports say.

It took 196 of the first 236 seats declared, according to the South China Morning Post newspaper. Pro-Beijing candidates took just 28.

More than 2.9m people voted, a turnout of more than 71%, against 47% in 2015.

The election is being seen as a test of support for embattled Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

Pro-democracy protest groups want the vote to send a message to the Chinese government after five months of unrest and anti-government protests.

Pro-Beijing candidates had called on voters to support them in order to express frustration at the upheaval caused in recent months by continuous clashes between protesters and police.

A record 4.1 million people had registered to vote, or more than half the population of 7.4 million.

Hong Kong's district councils traditionally have some influence in choosing the city's chief executive.

Casting her vote, Ms Lam promised to listen "more intensively" to the views of district councils.