HKU POP will conduct a headcount on July 1Back

Press Release on June 28, 2013

The Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong will conduct a headcount of July 1 Rally participants on July 1 (next Monday), and release its preliminary results via the “HKU POP SITE” ( around 2 to 4 hours after the rally. To read the figures, one can go to the POP Site, click on the picture icon for “July 1 Rally Feature Page”, and then choose “July 1 Rally Headcounting Project 2013”. Alternatively, one can click on the top menu “Special Features”, then “July 1 Rally Feature Page”, and then make the choice.


Since 2003, POP has been running headcounts for every July 1 Rally, purely out of intellectual curiosity. Albeit minor adjustments across the years, the method used is to split the road into lanes, then count the number of people passing through them during specific time segments, and then project the total number by the total time spanned as well as an adjustment factor to cover those not passing through the checkpoint. This method and all adjustment factors have been well documented. We welcome members of the public, especially reporters and teachers, to run their own count using this method.


Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, “POP’s headcount results may differ significantly from participants’ general impression, because such impressions have been affected by unclear figures for a long time, and it is difficult to grab the idea of tens of thousands of people. For this reason, POP hopes that members of the public can make their own counts using simple scientific methods, in order to learn from each other in the spirit of scientific enquiry, and not to entangle ourselves with controversies over turnout numbers.”