HKU POP releases popularity figures of CE and the Government and findings of the second Budget follow-up survey Back

 

Press Release on March 27, 2018

| Detailed Findings (Rating of Chief Executive Carrie Lam) | (People's Satisfaction with the HKSAR Government)

| Detailed Findings (People's Trust in the HKSAR Government) |

| Detailed Findings (People's Satisfaction with Current Political, Economic and livelihood conditions) |

| Detailed Findings (Budget Feature Page) |

Special Announcements

1. From July 2017, apart from sampling landline numbers to conduct opinion surveys, the Public Opinion Programme (POP) of The University of Hong Kong has also added mobile numbers to the sampling frame. After three months of testing, in October 2017, POP formalized the use of mixed samples as its standard for regular opinion surveys. The figures released today by POP have already incorporated landline and mobile samples, while "effective response rate" is continued to be used to describe the survey's contact information. As for the weighting method, a two-step protocol is used. First, both the landline and mobile samples have been rim-weighted according to figures collected in the 2016 By-census regarding the gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population and the 2017 educational attainment (highest level attended) distribution and economic activity status distribution obtained from the Census and Statistics Department. After that, the mobile sample was rim-weighted according to the basic Public Sentiment Index (PSI) figures collected in the landline sample, and then mixed together to produce the final results. This weighting method has proved to be feasible after three months of testing, but POP will continue to review and enhance it, and keep the public informed.

2. To facilitate academic study and rational discussion, POP today released via the "HKU POP SITE" (http://hkupop.hku.hk) the raw data and related respondents' demographics of the latest rating survey of CE Carrie Lam, together with those of regular rating surveys of former CEs CH Tung, Donald Tsang and CY Leung released earlier, for public examination. Please follow normal academic standards when using or citing such data.

Abstract

POP interviewed 1,006 Hong Kong people between 15 and 20 March 2018 by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers. Our survey shows that the popularity figures of CE Carrie Lam have not changed much since two weeks ago. Her latest popularity rating is 56.8 marks. Her latest approval rate is 44%, disapproval rate 41%, giving a net popularity of positive 3 percentage points, which is her record low since she became CE. Indepth analysis shows that the younger and the more educated the respondents, the more critical they are of Carrie Lam as CE in terms of both support rate and rating. As for the SAR Government, its popularity also has not changed much over the past two weeks. Its satisfaction rate now stands at 37%, dissatisfaction rate 40%, giving a net satisfaction rate of negative 2 percentage points. As for people's trust in the government, the trust rate now stands at 47%, distrust rate 33%, giving a net trust of positive 14 percentage points, representing a significant rebound of 10 percentage points compared to two weeks ago. As for the society's appraisals, among economic, livelihood and political conditions, people remain to be least satisfied with the current political condition. The corresponding net satisfactions are positive 13, negative 25 and negative 47 percentage points. As for the Budget, our survey showed that people's instant reaction to this year's Budget in the first night can be considered negative, with a net satisfaction of negative 14 percentage points and a rating of 48.2 marks. After one to two days of media coverage, the reaction gets more negative significantly. The net satisfaction rate goes down remarkably to negative 23 percentage points, while its satisfaction rating also plunges to 42.8 marks. Two weeks later, after knowing even more about the Budget, people's reaction continues to get worse. The latest satisfaction rate stands at 28%, dissatisfaction rate 59%, net satisfaction rate further goes down remarkably by 8 percentage points to negative 31 percentage points, while its satisfaction rating continues to drop to 40.9 marks, which is also a record low since the survey question was first asked in 2008. In terms of macroscopic appraisal of Hong Kong's economic condition, 54% consider Hong Kong's tax system fair, but 65% consider the distribution of wealth unreasonable. Meanwhile, 27% are satisfied with the government's strategy in monetary arrangement, 55% are dissatisfied, giving a net satisfaction rate of negative 27 percentage points, representing a significant drop of 9 percentage points compared to two weeks ago. It should be noted that since this follow-up survey was conducted before the Financial Secretary announced the new measure of giving $4,000 to qualified citizens on March 23, the popularity effect of such measure is yet to be seen. The maximum sampling error of all percentage figures is +/-4 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the sampling error of rating figures and net values need another calculation. The response rate of the survey is 63%.

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 this survey is 1,006 successful interviews, not 1,006 x 62.5% response rate. In the past, many media made this mistake.

[3] The maximum sampling error of percentages is +/-4 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the sampling error of rating figure and net value needs another calculation. "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 rating not more than +/-2.2 and sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4%, sampling error of net values not more than +/-8% 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.


I. Popularity of CE and the Government

Latest Figures

POP today releases the latest popularity figures of CE Carrie Lam and the HKSAR Government. 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 group is now also taken into account when adjusting data. The latest figures released today have been rim-weighted according to figures collected in the 2016 By-census regarding the gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population and the 2017 educational attainment (highest level attended) distribution and economic activity status distribution obtained from the Census and Statistics Department. The mobile sample has also been rim-weighted according to the basic Public Sentiment Index (PSI) figures collected in the landline sample. Herewith the contact information for the latest survey:

Date of survey

Effective sample size

Effective response rate

Maximum sampling error
of percentages[6]

15-20/3/2018

1,006

62.5%

+/-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. Questions using only sub-samples would have bigger sampling error. Sampling errors of ratings are calculated according to the distribution of the scores collected.


Recent popularity figures of CE Carrie Lam and the HKSAR Government, as well as people's appraisal of society's conditions are summarized as follows:

Date of survey

3-4/1/18

15-18/1/18

1-6/2/18

20-22/2/18

1-6/3/18

15-20/3/18

Latest change

Sample base

1,000

1,035

1,001

1,017

1,002

1,006

--

Effective response rate

58.3%

63.6%

62.5%

63.6%

64.7%

62.5%

--

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding & error[7]

--

Rating of CE Carrie Lam

58.7

54.4[9]

53.6

55.7[9]

56.3

56.8+/-1.6

+0.5

Vote of confidence in CE Carrie Lam

51%

45%[9]

47%

47%

47%

44+/-3%

-3%

Vote of no confidence in CE Carrie Lam

36%

41%[9]

43%

40%

41%

41+/-3%

--

Net approval rate

15%

4%[9]

4%

7%

6%

3+/-6%

-3%

Satisfaction rate of SARG performance[8]

38%

36%

41%[9]

39%

34%[9]

37+/-4%

+3%

Dissatisfaction rate of SARG performance[8]

39%

42%

39%

38%

42%

40+/-4%

-2%

Net satisfaction rate

-1%

-6%

2%[9]

0%

-8%[9]

-2+/-7%

+6%

Mean value[8]

2.9

(Base=559)

2.7[9]

(Base=604)

2.9[9]

(Base=596)

2.9

(Base=670)

2.8

(Base=601)

2.8+/-0.1

(Base=548)

--

Trust in HKSAR Government[8]

45%

43%

46%

47%

44%

47+/-4%

+3%

Distrust in HKSAR Government[8]

36%

40%

38%

36%

40%

33+/-4%

-7%[9]

Net trust

9%

3%

8%

11%

4%

14+/-8%

+10%[9]

Mean value[8]

3.1

(Base=555)

2.9[9]

(Base=605)

3.0

(Base=597)

3.1

(Base=664)

2.9[9]

(Base=595)

3.1+/-0.1

(Base=537)

+0.2[9]

Current economic condition:
Satisfaction rate[8]

46%

45%

45%

47%

44%

46+/-3%

+2%

Current economic condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[8]

31%

31%

30%

30%

33%

33+/-3%

--

Net satisfaction rate

15%

14%

15%

17%

11%[9]

13+/-6%

+2%

Mean value[8]

3.1

(Base=989)

3.1

(Base=1,013)

3.1

(Base=989)

3.1

(Base=1,004)

3.1

(Base=976)

3.1+/-0.1

(Base=994)

--

Current livelihood condition:
Satisfaction rate[8]

33%

31%

30%

29%

30%

28+/-3%

-2%

Current livelihood condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[8]

47%

50%

50%

49%

50%

53+/-3%

+3%

Net satisfaction rate

-14%

-20%[9]

-19%

-19%

-20%

-25+/-5%

-5%

Mean value[8]

2.7

(Base=992)

2.6

(Base=1,026)

2.7

(Base=994)

2.6

(Base=995)

2.6

(Base=988)

2.5+/-0.1

(Base=997)

-0.1

Current political condition:
Satisfaction rate[8]

18%

15%[9]

16%

16%

18%

18+/-2%

--

Current political condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[8]

64%

68%[9]

68%

65%

65%

64+/-3%

-1%

Net satisfaction rate

-46%

-53%[9]

-53%

-49%

-47%

-47+/-5%

--

Mean value[8]

2.2

(Base=962)

2.1

(Base=991)

2.1

(Base=969)

2.2

(Base=964)

2.2

(Base=954)

2.1+/-0.1

(Base=934)

-0.1

[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 rating not more than +/-1.6, sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4%, sampling error of net values not more than +/-8% at 95% confidence level" when quoting the above figures. The error margin of previous survey can be found at the POP Site.

[8] Collapsed from a 5-point scale. The mean value is calculated by quantifying all individual responses into 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 marks according to their degree of positive level, where 1 is the lowest and 5 the highest, and then calculate the sample mean. Starting from March 2011, this question only uses sub-samples of the tracking surveys concerned. The sample size for this series is 550.

[9] 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 is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful, and different weighting methods could have been applied in different surveys.


The latest survey showed that CE Carrie Lam scored 56.8 marks, and 44% supported her as CE, her net approval rate is positive 3 percentage points. Regarding people's appraisal of the overall performance of the HKSAR Government, the latest figures revealed that 37% were satisfied, whereas 40% were dissatisfied, thus net satisfaction stands at negative 2 percentage points. The mean score is 2.8, which is close to "half-half". Meanwhile, 47% of the respondents trusted the HKSAR Government, the net trust value is positive 14 percentage points, while the mean score is 3.1, which is close to "half-half". As for people's satisfaction with the current economic, livelihood and political conditions, the latest satisfaction rates were 46%, 28% and 18% respectively, while their net satisfaction rates in these conditions were positive 13, negative 25 and negative 47 percentage points. The mean scores of the economic, livelihood and political conditions were 3.1, 2.5 and 2.1, meaning between "half-half" and "quite dissatisfied" in general.

Indepth Analysis

In the survey, we also asked respondents for their age and education attainment. If they were reluctant to give their exact age, they could give us a range. Herewith further analysis of the support rating and support rate of Carrie Lam as Chief Executive by respondents' age and education attainment, with sub-sample size placed in brackets:

Date of survey: 15-20/3/2018

18-29

30-49

50 or above

Overall sample

Rating of CE Carrie Lam

45.5+/-2.9
(170)

56.4+/-2.8
(339)

61.1+/-2.3
(477)

56.8+/-1.6
(986)

Support / Oppose Carrie Lam as CE[10]

Support

19+/-6%
(33)

45+/-5%
(153)

53+/-5%
(253)

44+/-3%
(439)

Oppose

64+/-7%
(111)

42+/-5%
(143)

33+/-4%
(156)

41+/-3%
(410)

Don't know / Hard to say

17+/-6%
(30)

14+/-4%
(46)

15+/-3%
(72)

15+/-2%
(148)

Total

100%
(175)

100%
(342)

100%
(481)

100%
(997)

[10] Differences among sub-groups are tested to be statistically significant at 99% confidence level.


Date of survey: 15-20/3/2018

Primary or below

Secondary

Tertiary or above

Overall sample

Rating of CE Carrie Lam

61.0+/-3.4
(195)

58.7+/-2.5
(463)

51.4+/-2.5
(327)

56.7+/-1.6
(986)

Support / Oppose Carrie Lam as CE[11]

Support

51+/-7%
(101)

49+/-5%
(231)

32+/-5%
(106)

44+/-3%
(438)

Oppose

31+/-7%
(61)

38+/-4%
(177)

53+/-6%
(173)

41+/-3%
(411)

Don't know / Hard to say

19+/-6%
(37)

13+/-3%
(63)

15+/-4%
(48)

15+/-2%
(148)

Total

100%
(199)

100%
(471)

100%
(327)

100%
(997)

[11] Differences among sub-groups are tested to be statistically significant at 99% 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 of some items was conducted from 20 to 22 February, 2018 while this survey was conducted from 15 to 20 March, 2018. 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.

17/3/18

Xi Jinping is elected with unanimous vote as China's president and chairman of the Central Military Commission.

16/3/18

Chairman of CK Hutchison Holdings Li Ka-Shing announces his retirement.

12/3/18

The pro-democracy camp and the pro-establishment camp win two seats each in the Legislative Council by-election.

11/3/18

The National People's Congress passes the constitutional amendment to abolish the presidential two-term limit.

3/3/18

Financial Secretary Paul Chan says the Community Care Fund will explore measures to help people who have not been covered by the Budget.

28/2/18

Financial Secretary Paul Chan delivers the first Budget of the current-term government.


II. Budget Second Follow-up Survey

Background

Since 1992, POP has been conducting Policy Address instant surveys every year. From 1998 onwards, we expanded our instant surveys to cover the Budget Speeches. In 2008, we revised our research design by splitting up our instant survey into two rounds, while our follow-up survey operation weeks later remains intact and become the third survey under our new design. As of now, in our first survey, we measure people's overall appraisal of the Budget, their rating of the Budget, and FS's popularity, while our follow-up surveys study any change in people's satisfaction of the Budget, their satisfaction with the government's strategy in monetary arrangement, and other relevant issues.

For this year's Budget, the results of our first survey were released on February 28, while the first follow-up survey was conducted one day after the Budget was announced and the results were released on March 6. Today POP releases the results of our second follow-up survey, which is also the last round of survey.

Latest 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 group is now also taken into account when adjusting data. The latest figures released today have been rim-weighted according to figures collected in the 2016 By-census regarding the gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population and the 2017 educational attainment (highest level attended) distribution and economic activity status distribution obtained from the Census and Statistics Department. The mobile sample has also been rim-weighted according to the basic Public Sentiment Index (PSI) figures collected in the landline sample. Herewith the contact information for the latest survey:

Date of survey

Effective sample size

Effective response rate

Maximum sampling error
of percentages[12]

15-20/3/2018

1,006

62.5%

+/-3%

[12] 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. Questions using only sub-samples would have bigger sampling error. Sampling errors of ratings are calculated according to the distribution of the scores collected.


Results of the Budget's second follow-up survey, together with the previous two surveys, are tabulated below:

Survey

Instant survey

First follow-up survey

Second follow-up survey

Latest change

Date of survey

28/2/2018

1-2/3/2018

15-20/3/2018

--

Sample base

614[13]

507

1,0 06[14]

--

Effective response rate

67.5%

62.6%

62.5%

--

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding & error[15]

--

Satisfaction rating of Budget
(0 to 100 marks)

48.2

42.8[18]

40.9+/-2.2

-1.9

Appraisal of Budget:
Satisfaction rate[16]

26%

31%[18]

28+/-4%

-3%

Appraisal of Budget:
Dissatisfaction rate[16]

41%

54%[18]

59+/-4%

+5%[18]

Net satisfaction rate

-14%

-23%[18]

-31+/-7%

-8%[18]

Mean value[16]

2.7

(Base=523)

2.5[18]

(Base=492)

2.4+/-0.1

(Base=550)

-0.1

Satisfied with the government's strategy in monetary arrangement[16]

--

32%

27+/-4%

-5%[18]

Dissatisfied with the government's strategy in monetary arrangement[16]

--

50%

55+/-4%

+5%[18]

Net satisfaction rate

--

-18%

-27+/-7%

-9%[18]

Mean value[16]

--

2.6

(Base=493)

2.5+/-0.1

(Base=544)

-0.1

Perceived the tax system in
Hong Kong to be fair[17]

--

56%

54+/-4%

-2%

Perceived the tax system in
Hong Kong to be unfair[17]

--

32%

33+/-4%

+1%

Perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong to be reasonable[17]

--

26%

25+/-4%

-1%

Perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong to be unreasonable[17]

--

67%

65+/-4%

-2%

[13] Excluding respondents who said they had not heard of the Budget, or were not clear about the Budget content. The sub-sample size was 551.

[14] Only uses sub-samples of the survey concerned. The sample size for this survey is 572.

[15] 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 rating not more than +/-2.2, sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4%, sampling error of net values not more than +/-7% at 95% confidence level" when quoting the above figures. The error margin of previous survey can be found at the POP Site.

[16] Collapsed from a 5-point scale. The mean value is calculated by quantifying all individual responses into 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 marks according to their degree of positive level, where 1 is the lowest and 5 the highest, and then calculate the sample mean.

[17] Collapsed from a 4-point scale.

[18] 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 is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful, and different weighting methods could have been applied in different surveys.


The second follow-up survey conducted in mid-March revealed that 28% of the respondents were satisfied with the Budget and 59% were dissatisfied, thus net satisfaction stands at negative 31 percentage points. The mean score is 2.4 marks, meaning between "half-half" and "quite dissatisfied" in general. The average rating registered for the Budget was 40.9 marks. Meanwhile, 27% were satisfied with the government's strategy in monetary arrangement, whereas 55% were dissatisfied, thus net satisfaction stands at negative 27 percentage points. The mean score is 2.5 marks, meaning between "half-half" and "quite dissatisfied" in general. With respect to Hong Kong's tax system, 54% considered it fair, whilst 33% thought the opposite. Last of all, 25% perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong reasonable, as contrast to 65% who regarded it unreasonable.

Commentary

Note: The following commentary was written by Research Manager of POP, Frank Lee.

Our latest survey conducted in mid-March shows that the popularity figures of CE Carrie Lam have not changed much since two weeks ago. Her latest popularity rating is 56.8 marks. Her latest approval rate is 44%, disapproval rate 41%, giving a net popularity of positive 3 percentage points, which is her record low since she became CE. Indepth analysis shows that the younger and the more educated the respondents, the more critical they are of Carrie Lam as CE in terms of both support rate and rating.

As for the SAR Government, its popularity also has not changed much over the past two weeks. Its satisfaction rate now stands at 37%, dissatisfaction rate 40%, giving a net satisfaction rate of negative 2 percentage points. As for people's trust in the government, the trust rate now stands at 47%, distrust rate 33%, giving a net trust of positive 14 percentage points, representing a significant rebound of 10 percentage points compared to two weeks ago. As for the society's appraisals, among economic, livelihood and political conditions, people remain to be least satisfied with the current political condition. The corresponding net satisfactions are positive 13, negative 25 and negative 47 percentage points.

As for the Budget, our survey showed that people's instant reaction to this year's Budget in the first night can be considered negative, with a net satisfaction of negative 14 percentage points and a rating of 48.2 marks. After one to two days of media coverage, the reaction gets more negative significantly. The net satisfaction rate goes down remarkably to negative 23 percentage points, while its satisfaction rating also plunges to 42.8 marks. Two weeks later, after knowing even more about the Budget, people's reaction continues to get worse. The latest satisfaction rate stands at 28%, dissatisfaction rate 59%, net satisfaction rate further goes down remarkably by 8 percentage points to negative 31 percentage points, while its satisfaction rating continues to drop to 40.9 marks, which is also a record low since the survey question was first asked in 2008.

In terms of macroscopic appraisal of Hong Kong's economic condition, 54% consider Hong Kong's tax system fair, but 65% consider the distribution of wealth unreasonable. Meanwhile, 27% are satisfied with the government's strategy in monetary arrangement, 55% are dissatisfied, giving a net satisfaction rate of negative 27 percentage points, representing a significant drop of 9 percentage points compared to two weeks ago. It should be noted that since this follow-up survey was conducted before the Financial Secretary announced the new measure of giving $4,000 to qualified citizens on March 23, the popularity effect of such measure is yet to be seen.

Future Release (Tentative)

  • April 3, 2018 (Tuesday) 12pm to 2pm: Ratings of Top 5 Executive Councillors, Public Sentiment Index