In the past many years, POP has been conducting popularity ratings for a variety of political figures and organizations, including Executive Councillors. The research design of these two exercises are explained as follows:
Relevant surveys are usually conducted once every two months, in two different phases. In the first stage, respondents were requested to nominate, unprompted, all Executive Councillors that they can think of. They could name up to 5 Executive Councillors.
POP would then select from this list of unprompted nominees the most frequently cited names for the next stage survey. 6 Executive Councillors would be admitted.
During the second stage survey, respondents would be asked to rate each of the selected political figures using a 0-100 scale. 0 indicates absolutely no support, 100 indicates absolute support, and 50 means half-half. After calculation, the least well-known figures would be dropped. Only the 5 most well-know Executive Councillors remain. Finally, any figure which fails to reach the 50% benchmark recognition rate would also be dropped (or retained only for reference). The list will then be sorted according to support ratings.
Using this method, the POP Team is able to screen out the most popular Executive Councillors both in terms of popular recognition and support. Those who failed to reach the top must have failed in either or both aspects.
All stage one naming surveys and stage two rating surveys mentioned are telephone surveys conducted by interviewers under close supervision.
Target population of these surveys are Cantonese speakers in Hong Kong of age 18 or above.
Starting from mid-January 2014, telephone numbers are randomly generated using known prefixes assigned to telecommunication services providers under the Numbering Plan provided by the Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA). Invalid numbers are then eliminated according to computer and manual dialing records to produce the final sample.
Before mid-January 2014, telephone numbers are first selected randomly from telephone directories as seed numbers. Another set of numbers is then generated by using the plus/minus one/two method. Duplicate numbers are then screened out, and the remaining numbers mixed in a random order to become the final sample.
Upon successful contact being made with a target household, one member of the household is selected among those present using the "next birthday" rule.