HKU POP releases the latest survey on Taiwan issuesBack

 
Press Release on March 19, 2014

| Special Announcements | Abstract | Latest Figures | Indepth Analysis |
| Opinion Daily | Commentary | Future Release (Tentative) |
| Detailed Findings (Opinion on Independence of Taiwan / Confidence in Cross-strait Reunification) |
| Detailed Findings (Opinion on Applicability of "One Country, Two Systems" to Taiwan) |
| Detailed Findings (Opinion on Taiwan's Rejoining the United Nations ) |


Special Announcements

  1. The Public Opinion Programme (POP) of The University of Hong Kong conducted a headcount of the “August 17 Rally” participants on August 17, and released its preliminary results via the “HKU POP SITE” in the evening on the same day. Same as the July 1 rally, to facilitate the public to do their own headcount of the Rally, POP plans to upload the full version of video record of the Rally to the “PopCon” e-platform (http://popcon.hk) on August 22.


  2. To facilitate academic study and rational discussion, POP has already released for public examination some time ago via the “HKU POP Site” (http://hkupop.hku.hk) the raw data of all 53 regular rating surveys of CE CY Leung, as well as the 181 regular rating surveys of former CE Donald Tsang and 239 regular rating surveys of former CE CH Tung, along with related demographics of respondents. Please follow normal academic standards when using or citing such data. POP will soon put up a “POP Education Page” to centralize all raw data and educational material as a one-stop service.


Abstract

POP interviewed 1,014 Hong Kong people between 7 and 13 August, 2014 by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers. Our latest survey shows that although Hong Kong people’s opposition to the independence of Taiwan remains high, the opposition rate has significantly dropped to 52% compared to about half a year ago, narrowing the net opposition rate to 21 percentage points which is a new low since June 1995. The percentage of those who support Taiwan rejoining the UN has slightly increased to 47% compared to about half a year ago, while the opposition rate recedes to 30%, so net support increases significantly to 17 percentage points. In general, although Hong Kong people object to the independence of Taiwan, they tend to support giving Taiwan more international space. It should be noted that people’s net confidence in reunification across the strait has dropped significantly to negative 23 percentage points, while the net value of those who believed “one country, two systems” should be applicable to Taiwan plunges to negative 18 percentage points, reaching their record lows since October 1994 and November 1996. Further analysis shows that younger people are more supportive of Taiwan’s independence and more pessimistic about cross-strait reunification. The maximum sampling error of all percentages is +/-4 percentage points at 95% confidence level, and net values need another calculation. The response rate of the survey is 68%.

 


Points to note:

[1] The address of the “HKU POP SITE” is http://hkupop.hku.hk, journalists can check out the details of the survey there.
[2] The sample size of the survey is 1,014 successful interviews, not 1,014 x 67.6% response rate. In the past, many media made this mistake.
[3] The maximum sampling error of all percentages is +/-4 percentage points at 95% confidence level. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified. When quoting these figures, journalists can state “sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4% at 95% confidence level, sampling error of net values not more than +/-7%”. Because POP introduced “rim weighting” in 2014, during the transition period, whether changes in various figures are beyond sampling errors are based on tests using the same weighting methods. That is, to test whether the first set of figures collected in 2014 is significantly different from that of the previous survey, both sets of data are rim weighted before testing, instead of using simple computation of the published figures.
[4] Because of sampling errors in conducting the survey(s) and the rounding procedures in processing the data, the figures cannot be too precise, and the totals may not be completely accurate. Therefore, when quoting percentages of the survey(s), journalists should refrain from reporting decimal places, but when quoting the rating figures, one decimal place can be used.
[5] The data of this survey is collected by means of random telephone interviews conducted by real interviewers, not by any interactive voice system (IVS). If a research organization uses “computerized random telephone survey” to camouflage its IVS operation, it should be considered unprofessional.



Latest Figures

POP today releases the latest findings on various Taiwan issues. From 2014, POP enhanced the previous simple weighting method based on age and gender distribution to “rim weighting” based on age, gender and education (highest level attended) distribution. The latest figures released today have been rim-weighted according to provisional figures obtained from the Census and Statistics Department regarding the gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population in 2013 year-end  and the educational attainment (highest level attended) distribution collected in the 2011 Census.  Herewith the contact information of various surveys:

 

Date of survey

Overall sample size

Response rate

Maximum sampling error of percentages[6]

7-13/8/2014

1,014

67.6%

+/-3%

[6] Errors are calculated at 95% confidence level using full sample size. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified.


Latest people’s views towards various Taiwan issues are summarized below:

 

Date of survey[7]

21-29/8/12

5-14/3/13

8-15/8/13

10-12/3/14

7-13/8/14

Latest Change

Total sample size[7]

1,004

1,006

1,025

1,008

1,014

--

Overall response rate

65.5%

68.8%

67.7%

68.4%

67.6%

--

Latest finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding & error [8]

--

Taiwan independence: Opposition rate

58%[9]

60%

61%

58%

52+/-4%

-6%[9]

Taiwan independence: Support rate

25%[9]

25%

26%

29%

31+/-4%

+2%

Net opposition

33%

35%

35%

29%

21+/-7%

-8%[9]

Taiwan rejoining the United Nations: Support rate

41%

48%[9]

52%

44%[9]

47+/-4%

+3%

Taiwan rejoining the United Nations: Opposition rate

31%

29%

29%

35%[9]

30+/-4%

-5%[9]

Net support

10%

19%[9]

23%

9%[9]

17+/-7%

+8%[9]

Believed ‘one country, two systems’ was applicable to Taiwan

43%[9]

39%

41%

42%

32+/-4%

-10%[9]

Believed ‘one country, two systems’ was not applicable to Taiwan

40%

44%

44%

43%

50+/-4%

+7%[9]

Net value of applicability

3%

-5%

-3%

0%

-18+/-7%

-18%[9]

Confidence in cross-strait reunification

40%

37%

37%

37%

32+/-4%

-5%[9]

No confidence in cross-strait reunification

43%

46%

52%[9]

49%

55+/-4%

+6%[9]

Net confidence

-3%

-9%

-15%

-12%

-23+/-7%

-11%[9]

[7] Starting from March 2011, these questions only use sub-samples of the tracking surveys concerned. The sub-sample sizes of the surveys range from 600 to 688, and the increased sampling errors have already been reflected in the figures tabulated. Since 2012, the frequency of surveys has reduced from once every 3 months to half-yearly.
[8] All error figures in the table are calculated at 95% confidence level. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified. Media can state “sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4% at 95% confidence level, sampling error of net values not more than +/-7%” when quoting the above figures. The error margin of previous survey can be found at the POP Site.
[9] Such changes have gone beyond the sampling errors at the 95% confidence level under the same weighting method, meaning that they are statistically significant prima facie. However, whether numerical differences are statistically significant or not is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful.


Latest survey revealed that 52% of Hong Kong people interviewed opposed the independence of Taiwan whereas 31% showed support, with net opposition at positive 21 percentage points. 47% supported the rejoining the United Nations of Taiwan while 30% opposed, with net support at positive 17 percentage points. As for the applicability of “one country, two systems” to Taiwan, 32% gave a positive view while 50% gave a negative answer, with net value of applicability at negative 18 percentage points. Finally, 32% were confident in the ultimate reunification across the strait whilst 55% expressed no confidence, with net confidence at negative 23 percentage points.



Indepth Analysis

In the survey, we also asked respondents for their age. If they were reluctant to give their exact age, they could give us a range. According to their answers, we grouped them into 18-29, 30-49, and 50 years or older. Herewith further analysis of respondents’ view on the Taiwan independence issue and confidence in cross-strait reunification by age:

 

Date of survey: 7-13/8/2014

18-29

30-49

50 or above

Overall Sample

View on the Taiwan independence issue[10]

Oppose

36+/-9%
(40)

52+/-7%
(110)

60+/-6%
(157)

52+/-4%
(308)

Support

55+/-9%
(62)

31+/-6%
(67)

21+/-5%
(55)

31+/-4%
(184)

Don’t know / hard to say

9+/-5%
(10)

17+/-5%
(37)

19+/-5%
(51)

17+/-3%
(98)

Total

100%
(113)

100%
(214)

100%
(264)

100%
(591)

[10] Differences among sub-groups are tested to be statistically significant at 95% confidence level.

 

Date of survey: 7-13/8/2014

18-29

30-49

50 or above

Overall Sample

Confidence in cross-strait reunification[11]

Yes

16+/-7%
(18)

31+/-6%
(76)

40+/-6%
(99)

32+/-4%
(192)

No

80+/-8%
(90)

61+/-6%
(147)

40+/-6%
(100)

56+/-4%
(337)

Don’t know / hard to say

5+/-4%
(5)

8+/-3%
(20)

20+/-5%
(49)

12+/-3%
(74)

Total

100%
(113)

100%
(242)

100%
(248)

100%
(603)

[11] Differences among sub-groups are tested to be statistically significant at 95% confidence level.

 


Opinion Daily

In January 2007, POP opened a feature page called "Opinion Daily" at the "POP Site", to record significant events and selected polling figures on a day-to-day basis, in order to let readers judge by themselves the reasons for the ups and downs of different opinion figures. In July 2007, POP collaborated with Wisers Information Limited whereby Wisers supplies to POP each day starting from July 24, a record of significant events of that day, according to the research method designed by POP. These daily entries would be uploaded to "Opinion Daily" as soon as they are verified by POP.

 

For the polling items covered in this press release, the previous survey was conducted from March 10 to 12, 2014 while this survey was conducted from August 7 to 13, 2014. In between these two surveys, herewith the significant events selected from counting newspaper headlines and commentaries on a daily basis and covered by at least 25% of the local newspaper articles. Readers can make their own judgment if these significant events have any impacts to different polling figures.


2/8/14

Huge factory explosion in Jiangsu.

1/8/14

Kaohsiung gas explosions cause number of people died and injured.

23/7/14

At least 46 people died due to plane crashing into houses near Penghu.

22/7/14

Lai Chee-ying made substantial donations to 5 pan-democratic LegCo members.

1/7/14

Many newspapers report the news of July 1 March.

29/6/14

Over 790,000 people cast votes in “6.22 Civil Referendum”.

10/6/14

The Central government announces a white paper to reaffirm the relationship between China and HKSAR.

4/6/14

HKASPDMC announces that around 180,000 people participate in the June Fourth candlelight vigil.

22/5/14

Terrorist attack occurs in Urumqi, Xinjiang.

23/3/14

Taipei Police launches clearance operation at the Executive Yuan.



Commentary

Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, “Our latest survey shows that although Hong Kong people’s opposition to the independence of Taiwan remains high, the opposition rate has significantly dropped to 52% compared to about half a year ago, narrowing the net opposition rate to 21 percentage points which is a new low since June 1995. The percentage of those who support Taiwan rejoining the UN has slightly increased to 47% compared to about half a year ago, while the opposition rate recedes to 30%, so net support increases significantly to 17 percentage points. In general, although Hong Kong people object to the independence of Taiwan, they tend to support giving Taiwan more international space. It should be noted that people’s net confidence in reunification across the strait has dropped significantly to negative 23 percentage points, while the net value of those who believed ‘one country, two systems’ should be applicable to Taiwan plunges to negative 18 percentage points, reaching their record lows since October 1994 and November 1996. Further analysis shows that younger people are more supportive of Taiwan’s independence and more pessimistic about cross-strait reunification. As for the reasons affecting the ups and downs of various figures, readers are welcome to make their own judgment using the detailed records displayed in our ‘Opinion Daily’.”



Future Release (Tentative)

  • August 26, 2014 (Tuesday) 1pm to 2pm: Popularity of CE and HKSAR Government


| Special Announcements | Abstract | Latest Figures | Indepth Analysis |
| Opinion Daily | Commentary | Future Release (Tentative) |
| Detailed Findings (Opinion on Independence of Taiwan / Confidence in Cross-strait Reunification) |
| Detailed Findings (Opinion on Applicability of "One Country, Two Systems" to Taiwan) |
| Detailed Findings (Opinion on Taiwan's Rejoining the United Nations ) |