Very early on in Lee Ken-cheng’s term as GPT Co-Convenor, it was apparent that his vision for the party was starkly different to that seen in the Pan era. Initially, it appeared that Lee’s reforms were transforming it into an institutionalised party for the first time. The first test for the new GPT and its splinter, the Trees Party, came in the 2014 local elections. Both had mixed fortunes, experiencing breakthroughs and setbacks.
In the first section of the chapter, I will introduce the transition process between the Pan and Lee eras and the new mode of party operation that evolved after Lee became Co-Convenor in 2013. I then will outline the GPT’s 2014 campaign appeals and strategies. I argue that the party change in this period can be explained by both new leadership and changes in the inner-party balance of power. Next, I attempt to explain the GPT and Trees Party’s local election performances of 2014, looking at their overall campaigns as well as some representative individual candidates.