HKU POP releases survey on the popularity of cross-strait political figuresBack

 

Press Release on August 8, 2017

| Detailed Findings (Rating of the Top Ten Political Figures in Mainland China and Taiwan) |

Special Announcements

1. From July 2017, apart from sampling landline numbers to conduct opinion surveys, mobile numbers are also added to the sampling frame. Since it takes time to conduct further testing, the figures released today by The Public Opinion Programme (POP) of The University of Hong Kong are only based on the landline sample. The results of the mixed sample will be released after further testing is completed. Meanwhile, POP also enhanced the previous weighting method that has been used for quite a few years. Apart from age, gender and education, economic activity status is now also taken into account when adjusting data. 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 2016 year-end, the educational attainment (highest level attended) distribution and the economic activity status distribution collected in the 2011 Census.

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 regular rating surveys of current CE Carrie Lam, former CEs CH Tung, Donald Tsang and CY Leung, along with related demographics of respondents. Please follow normal academic standards when using or citing such data.

Abstract

POP conducted a double stage survey on the rankings of the top 10 political figures in Mainland China and Taiwan in July, by means of random telephone surveys conducted by real interviewers. The survey finds that compared to 4 months ago, the rankings of the top 10 cross-strait political figures have not changed much, but most ratings have dropped. On the awareness level, Li Peng has re-entered the list to replace Lee Teng-hui, making our top 10 list a 7:3 split between Mainland and Taiwan figures. In terms of support rating, among the 9 figures who continue to stay on the list, only the rating of Chen Shui-bian has increased slightly while those of the remaining 8 have dropped significantly. They are Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Ma Ying-jeou, Wen Jiabao, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao, Zhu Rongji and Tsai Ing-wen, down by 8.2, 6.8, 6.5, 5.4, 5.0, 4.9, 3.6 and 3.0 marks respectively. Besides, the ratings of Jiang Zemin, Wen Jiabao and Xi Jinping have dropped to their record low since they entered the list in 1997, 2003 and 2008 respectively. As for the relative rankings, Zhu Rongji continues to rank first. Wen Jiabao and Xi Jinping swap positions to rank second and third. Li Keqiang remains at 4th unchanged. Hu Jintao and Ma Ying-jeou swap positions to rank 5th and 6th. Tsai Ing-wen and Jiang Zemin swap positions to rank 7th and 8th. Li Peng re-enters the list to rank 9th. Chen Shui-bian remains unchanged at the bottom. It should be noted that our list of ‘top 10 cross-strait political figures’ only includes those best known to the Hong Kong public, ranked according to their support ratings. Other political figures may have very high or low support ratings, but they are excluded from the list because they are relatively less well-known. The maximum sampling error of all rating figures is +/-2.5 marks at 95% confidence level. The response rate of the rating survey is 71%.

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 first stage naming survey is 804 successful interviews, not 804 x 72.0% response rate, while the sample size of the second stage rating survey is other 817 successful interviews, not 817 x 71.6% response rate. In the past, many media made this mistake.

[3] “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 various ratings not more than +/-2.5 at 95% confidence level”.

[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 of popularity of cross-strait political figures. From July 2017, POP enhanced the previous weighting method that has been used for quite a few years. Apart from age, gender and education, economic activity status is now also taken into account when adjusting data. 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 2016 year-end, the educational attainment (highest level attended) distribution and the economic activity status distribution collected in the 2011 Census. Herewith the contact information of various surveys excluding the 226 and 203 testing samples using mobile numbers:

Date of survey

Overall sample size

Response rate

Maximum sampling error of percentages/ratings [6]

10-13/7/2017

(First stage naming survey)

804

72.0%

+/-4%

17-20/7/2017

(Second stage rating survey)

817

71.6%

+/-2.5

[6] 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.


The research design of our “Top 10 political figures of Mainland China and Taiwan” has been explained in detail under “Survey Method” in our corresponding web site. The top political figures listed in our latest survey were all those who obtained highest unprompted mentions in our first stage naming survey conducted on July 10-13. In that survey, respondents could name, unaided, up to 10 political figures whom they knew best. Xi Jinping, Tsai Ing-wen, Ma Ying-jeou, Jiang Zemin and Chen Shui-bian were mentioned most frequently. Please refer to the relevant table for the rest of the list. The 12 most frequently mentioned political figures were then entered into the second stage of the survey conducted on July 17-20, during which respondents were asked to rate each political figure in turn using a 0-100 scale. 0 indicates absolutely no support, 100 indicates absolute support, and 50 means half-half. After calculation, the bottom 2 political figures in terms of recognition rate were dropped; the remaining 10 were then ranked according to their support ratings attained to become the top 10 political figures. For easy reference, the POP Site has already displayed the results of all naming surveys conducted since June 1997. Recent ratings of the top political figures in Mainland China and Taiwan are summarized as follows:


Date of survey

21-24/3/2016

12-18/8/2016

27-30/3/2017

17-20/7/2017

Latest change

Sample base

553-639

529-676

537-702

579-673

--

Overall response rate

67.2%

71.7%

70.6%

71.6%

--

Latest finding / Recognition rate

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding and error[7]

Recognition rate

--

Zhu Rongji

71.0{1}[8]

69.1{1}

70.8{1}

67.2+/-1.9{1}

81.0%

-3.6 [8]

Wen Jiabao

62.3{2}

62.8{2}

63.8{3}

58.4+/-1.9{2}

90.7%

-5.4 [8]

Xi Jinping

61.3{3}

59.7{3}

65.5{2}

57.3+/-2.5{3}

92.5%

-8.2[8]

Li Keqiang

59.7{4}

57.5{5}

60.8{4}

54.0+/-2.1{4}

87.7%

-6.8[8]

Hu Jintao

59.4{5}[8]

57.7{4}

58.8{6}

53.9+/-1.9{5}

89.3%

-4.9[8]

Ma Ying-jeou

55.0{6}[8]

55.9{6}

59.1{5}

52.6+/-1.8{6}

87.5%

-6.5[8]

Tsai Ing-wen

54.5[8] [9]

52.9{7}

48.1{8}

45.1+/-2.1{7}

83.9%

-3.0[8]

Jiang Zemin

49.4{7}[8]

49.7{8}

48.6{7}

43.6+/-2.1{8}

88.3%

-5.0[8]

Li Peng

37.6{9}

40.0{9}

--

38.2+/-2.4{9}

78.8%

--

Chen Shui-bian

24.2{10}

25.7{10}

25.0{10}

25.1+/-1.8{10}

89.5%

+0.1  

Zhang Dejiang

50.6[9]

--

49.0[9]

42.0+/-2.5[9]

73.7%

-7.0[8]

Lee Teng-hui

42.0{8}[8]

39.8 [9]

42.4{9}

39.3+/-2.5[9]

70.3%

-3.1[8]

Lien Chan

--

--

50.6[9]

--

--

--

Wang Qishan

--

55.3 [9]

--

--

--

--

[7] 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 various ratings not more than +/-2.5 at 95% confidence level" when quoting the above figures. The error margin of previous survey can be found at the POP Site. {} Number in square brackets indicates rankings.

[8] Such changes have gone beyond the sampling errors at the 95% confidence level, 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.

[9] Ratings with recognition rates not reaching top 10 in either stage of survey are not listed.


Latest survey revealed that, among the ten most well-known political figures in Mainland China and Taiwan, in terms of popularity rating, Zhu Rongji ranked first, attaining 67.2 marks. The 2nd rank went to Wen Jiabao with a score of 58.4 marks. Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Hu Jintao and Ma Ying-jeou occupied the 3rd to 6th ranks with 57.3, 54.0, 53.9 and 52.6 marks correspondingly. The 7th to 10th ranks fell to Tsai Ing-wen, Jiang Zemin, Li Peng and Chen Shui-bian with respective scores of 45.1, 43.6, 38.2 and 25.1 marks. For this latest survey, Zhang Dejiang and Lee Teng-hui obtained support ratings of 42.0 and 39.3 marks respectively, but they were dropped due to their relatively low recognition rates. The mean score obtained by the top 5 political figures was 58.2 marks, while that for the top 10 was 49.5 marks. As for the overall ratings ranked according to results obtained over the past four surveys are tabulated as follows:


Date of survey

21-24/3/2016

12-18/8/2016

27-30/3/2017

17-20/7/2017

No. of times on top 10

Average rating[10]

Overall ranking[11]

Zhu Rongji

71.0

69.1

70.8

67.2

4

69.5

1

Wen Jiabao

62.3

62.8

63.8

58.4

4

61.8

2

Xi Jinping

61.3

59.7

65.5

57.3

4

60.9

3

Li Keqiang

59.7

57.5

60.8

54.0

4

58.0

4

Hu Jintao

59.4

57.7

58.8

53.9

4

57.4

5

Ma Ying-Jeou

55.0

55.9

59.1

52.6

4

55.6

6

Jiang Zemin

49.4

49.7

48.6

43.6

4

47.8

7

Chen Shui-bian

24.2

25.7

25.0

25.1

4

25.0

8

Tsai Ing-wen

--

52.9

48.1

45.1

3

48.7

9

Li Peng

37.6

40.0

--

38.2

3

38.6

10

Lee Teng-hui

42.0

--

42.4

--

2

42.2

11

[10] “Average rating” is the average of all ratings obtained by political figures over the past 17 months.

[11] “Overall ranking” is first determined by their number of times on top 10, and then their average ratings.


The overall rankings in the past four surveys showed that eight political figures have been on the list for four times. Zhu Rongji ranked first, achieving an average rating of 69.5 marks, Wen Jiabao and Xi Jinping ranked 2nd to 3rd, attaining 61.8 and 60.9 marks correspondingly, Li Keqiang, Hu Jintao, Ma Ying-Jeou, Jiang Zemin and Chen Shui-bian who ranked 4th to 8th with respective scores of 58.0, 57.4, 55.6, 47.8 and 25.0 marks. Tsai Ing-wen and Li Peng have been on the list three times, ranked the 9th and 10th with respective scores of 48.7 and 38.6 marks. Lee Teng-hui has been on the list twice, ranked the 11th with an average rating of 42.2 marks.

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 of some items was conducted from March 27 to 30, 2017 while the latest survey was conducted from July 17 to 20, 2017. During this period, 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.

14/7/17

The High Court disqualifies four lawmakers from the Legislative Council.

8/7/17

China's first aircraft carrier Liaoning arrives Hong Kong.

1/7/17

Xi Jinping attends the Inaugural Ceremony of the Fifth Term HKSAR Government.

28/6/17

Xi Jinping visits Hong Kong for handover anniversary.

27/5/17

Zhang Dejiang reiterates the relationship between the central government and the HKSAR at a symposium commemorating the 20th anniversary of implementing the Basic Law of the HKSAR.

23/5/17

ICAC arrests 21 over faked concrete test results for Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge project.

14/5/17

Media reports that the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation opens in Beijing.

9/5/17

Media reports on Chairman of the National People’s Congress Zhang Dejiang’s inspection visit to Macau.

17/4/17

China’s GDP increases 6.9% in the first quarter from a year earlier.

11/4/17

President Xi Jinping meets with Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor in Zhongnanhai.

7/4/17

Media continues to report that President of China Xi Jinping meets with US President Donald Trump at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.


Commentary

Frank Wai-Kin Lee, Research Manager of POP, observed, “Compared to 4 months ago, the rankings of the top 10 cross-strait political figures have not changed much, but most ratings have dropped. On the awareness level, Li Peng has re-entered the list to replace Lee Teng-hui, making our top 10 list a 7:3 split between Mainland and Taiwan figures. In terms of support rating, among the 9 figures who continue to stay on the list, only the rating of Chen Shui-bian has increased slightly while those of the remaining 8 have dropped significantly. They are Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Ma Ying-jeou, Wen Jiabao, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao, Zhu Rongji and Tsai Ing-wen, down by 8.2, 6.8, 6.5, 5.4, 5.0, 4.9, 3.6 and 3.0 marks respectively. Besides, the ratings of Jiang Zemin, Wen Jiabao and Xi Jinping have dropped to their record low since they entered the list in 1997, 2003 and 2008 respectively. As for the relative rankings, Zhu Rongji continues to rank first. Wen Jiabao and Xi Jinping swap positions to rank second and third. Li Keqiang remains at 4th unchanged. Hu Jintao and Ma Ying-jeou swap positions to rank 5th and 6th. Tsai Ing-wen and Jiang Zemin swap positions to rank 7th and 8th. Li Peng re-enters the list to rank 9th. Chen Shui-bian remains unchanged at the bottom. It should be noted that our list of ‘top 10 cross-strait political figures’ only includes those best known to the Hong Kong public, ranked according to their support ratings. Other political figures may have very high or low support ratings, but they are excluded from the list because they are relatively less well-known. As for the reasons affecting the ups and downs of different figures, we leave it to our readers to form their own judgment using the detailed records displayed in our ‘Opinion Daily’.”

Future Release (Tentative)

  • August 15, 2017 (Tuesday) 1pm to 2pm: Popularity of CE and Principal Officials