HKU POP releases popularity figures of Executive Councillors and the PSIBack

 

Press Release on April 3, 2018

| Detailed Findings (Public Sentiment Index Feature Page) |

| Detailed Findings (Popularity of Executive Councillors) |

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 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 ratings of Executive Councillors in March by means of random telephone surveys conducted by real interviewers. The survey shows that compared to half a year ago, in terms of familiarity, all non-official Executive Councillors who were in the “top 5” list last time remain in the list. Among them, the ratings of Regina Ip, Arthur Li and Joseph Yam have increased while those of Fanny Law and Ronny Tong have decreased, but only the rating of Regina Ip has changed beyond sampling error. In terms of absolute ratings, only Joseph Yam on the “top 5” list scores more than 50 marks at 58.2. In terms of relative rankings, Joseph Yam continues to rank first, Regina Ip and Ronny Tong swap positions to rank second and third, while Fanny Law and Arthur Li continue to rank fourth and fifth. It should be noted, however, that our list of “top 5” only includes non-official Councillors best known to the public, ranked according to their support ratings. Some of the other Councillors may well have very high or low support ratings, but because they are not the most well-known Councillors, they do not appear on the list by design. The maximum sampling error of all percentage figures is +/-4 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while that of rating figures is below +/-2.4 marks. The response rate of the rating survey is 63%.

As for the Public Sentiment Index (PSI), the latest PSI stands at 106.2, dropped 0.8 point since mid-March. This time the two component scores of PSI go in opposite directions. Specifically, the Government Appraisal (GA) Score that reflects people’s appraisal of society’s governance goes up by 2.9 points to 105.9, whereas the Society Appraisal (SA) Score that reflects people’s appraisal of the social environment decreases by 4.3 points to 98.1.

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 on top 5 Executive Councillors is 501 successful interviews, not 501 x 57.7% response rate, while that of the second stage rating 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 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 +/-2.4 and sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4% 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 figures of Executive Councillors

Latest Figures

POP today releases the latest popularity figures of the top five Executive Councillors. 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 surveys:

Date of survey

Effective sample size

Effective response rate

Maximum sampling error[6]

5-6/3/2018 (Naming survey)

501

57.7%

+/-4%

15-20/3/2018 (Rating survey)

1,006

62.5%

+/-2.4

[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. Sampling errors of ratings are calculated according to the distribution of the scores collected.


The research design of our “Top 5 Executive Councillors” is similar to that of our “Top 10” series and is explained in detail under “Survey Method” in our web page. The top Councillors listed in our latest survey were all those who obtained the highest unprompted mentions in our first stage naming survey conducted in early March. In that survey, respondents could name, unaided, up to 5 non-official Executive Councillors whom they knew best. The findings of the naming survey are as follows:

Date of survey

19-26/2/16

5-8/9/16

20-24/2/17

1-6/9/17

5-6/3/18

Latest Change in Ranking

Sample base[7]

1,006

1,001

1,006

1,010

501

--

Response rate*

67.7%

73.5%

70.8%

51.1%

57.7%

--

Finding / Error

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding & error [8]

--

Regina Ip

18%{1}

17%{1}

--[9]

22%{1}

23+/-4%{1}

--

Bernard Chan

2%{8}

3%{6}

5%{2}

14%{2}

9+/-3%{2}

--

Fanny Law

4%{5}

4%{3}

4%{3}

4%{5}

6+/-2%{3}

↑2

Ronny Tong

--[9]

--[9]

--[9]

9%{4}

4+/-2%{4}

--

Arthur Li

6%{4}

4%{2}

3%{4}

3%{6}

3+/-2%{5}

↑1

Joseph Yam

--[9]

--[9]

--[9]

9%{3}

3+/-1%{6}

↓3

Cheung Kwok-kwan

--[9]

--[9]

--[9]

1%{12}

2+/-1%{7}

↑5

Ip Kwok-him

--[9]

1%{8}

2%{7}

2%{7}

1+/-1%{8}

↓1

Laura Cha

1%{11}

1%{9}

1%{9}

1%{8}

1+/-1%{9}

↓1

Tommy Cheung

--[9]

--[9]

2%{5}

1%{9}

1+/-1%{10}

↓1

Jeffrey Lam

1%{10}

<1%{12}

2%{8}

<1%{16}

1+/-1%{11}

↑5

Wong Kwok-kin

--[9]

--[9]

--[9]

1%{11}

1+/-1%{12}

↓1

Kenneth Lau

--[9]

--[9]

--[9]

1%{13}

<1+/-<1%{13}

--

Martin Liao

--[9]

--[9]

1%{10}

<1%{14}

<1+/-<1%{14}

--

Chow Chung-kong

<1%{14}

<1%{14}

1%{12}

1%{10}

<1+/-<1%{15}

↓5

Lam Ching-choi

--[9]

--[9]

--[9]

<1%{15}

--

--

Lam Woon-kwong

7%{3}

4%{4}

8%{1}

--[9]

--[9]

--

Cheng Yiu-tong

2%{7}

3%{5}

2%{6}

--[9]

--[9]

--

Cheung Chi-kong

3%{6}

2%{7}

1%{11}

--[9]

--[9]

--

Anna Wu

1%{9}

<1%{11}

<1%{13}

--[9]

--[9]

--

Cheung Hok-ming

1%{13}

1%{10}

<1%{14}

--[9]

--[9]

--

Andrew Liao

1%{12}

<1%{13}

<1%{15}

--[9]

--[9]

--

Starry Lee

8%{2}

--[9]

--[9]

--[9]

--[9]

--

Wrong answer

14%

17%

26%

7%

14+/-3%

--

Don’t know/hard to say

65%

66%

65%

65%

65+/-4%

--

* “Overall response rate” was used before September 2017, thereafter, “effective response rate” was used.

[7] Some surveys only use sub-samples of the tracking surveys concerned.

[8] All error figures in the table are calculated at 95% confidence level. “95% confidence level”, meaning 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” when quoting the above figures. Numbers in square brackets { } indicates rankings in our naming survey. Councillors with the same recognition rate will be ranked according to the decimal place of the corresponding percentages. Please refer to the POP Site for detailed figures of the previous surveys. The error margin of previous surveys can also be found at the POP Site.

[9] Not a non-official Executive Councillor during the survey period.


The naming survey conducted in early March showed that Regina Ip was named most frequently with a recognition rate of 23%. Bernard Chan, Fanny Law, Ronny Tong, Arthur Li and Joseph Yam had recognition rates of 9%, 6%, 4%, 3% and 3%, and were ranked the 2nd to 6th. However, 14% made a wrong attempt at citing (non-official) Executive Councillors while 65% had no clue.

The 6 Councillors who were named most frequently then entered into the second stage rating survey. During the second stage rating survey conducted in mid-March, respondents were asked to rate each short-listed Councillor 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 1 Councillor in terms of recognition rate was dropped; the remaining 5 were then ranked according to their support ratings attained to become the top 5 Executive Councillors. Recent ratings of the top 5 members of Executive Council are summarized as follows:

Date of survey

29/2-3/3/16

12-14/9/16

1-5/3/17

12-15/9/17

15-20/3/18

Latest change

Sample base

567-640

584-624

563-704

780-851

567-643

--

Response rate*

67.7%

70.2%

71.7%

57.6%

62.5%

--

Finding / Recognition rate

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding and error [10]

Recognition
rate

--

Joseph Yam

--[13]

--[13]

--[13]

57.9{1}

58.2+/-2.0{1}

87.3%

+0.3

Regina Ip

49.0{2}

49.4{2}

--[13]

47.3{3}

49.7+/-2.1{2}

95.6%

+2.4[12]

Ronny Tong

--[13]

--[13]

--[13]

49.2{2}

49.1+/-2.0{3}

89.2%

-0.1

Fanny Law

43.5{4}[12]

40.6{4}[12]

44.4{2}[12]

41.7{4}

41.1+/-2.4{4}

86.6%

-0.6

Arthur Li

40.3{5}

37.3{5}[12]

39.4{5}

36.7{5}[12]

37.8+/-2.4{5}

80.4%

+1.1

Bernard Chan

--

54.6[11]

50.8[11] [12]

50.1[11]

49.4+/-2.2 [11]

70.8%

-0.7

Tommy Cheung

--[13]

--[13]

40.5{4}

--

--

--

--

Lam Woon-kwong

53.1{1}

55.6{1}[12]

51.2{1}[12]

--[13]

--[13]

--

--

Cheng Yiu-tong

--

44.4{3}

42.2{3}

--[13]

--[13]

--

--

Starry Lee

44.2{3}

--[13]

--[13]

--[13]

--[13]

--

--

Cheung Chi-kong

43.0[11]

--

--

--[13]

--[13]

--

--

* “Overall response rate” was used before September 2017, thereafter, “effective response rate” was used.

[10] All error figures in the table are calculated at 95% confidence level. “95% confidence level”, meaning 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 +/-2.4 marks at 95% confidence level” when quoting the above figures. Numbers in square brackets { } indicates rankings. The error margin of previous survey can be found at the POP Site.

[11] Recognition rate fell outside top 5 during rating stage, so per poll rating and related changes are presented only for rough reference.

[12] 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.

[13] Not a non-official Executive Councillor during the survey period.


The latest rating survey conducted in mid-March showed that Joseph Yam was the most popularly supported non-official Executive Councillor, attaining 58.2 marks. The 2nd went to Regina Ip with 49.7 marks. The 3rd to 5th ranks went to Ronny Tong, Fanny Law and Arthur Li with 49.1, 41.1 and 37.8 marks respectively. The mean score obtained by these top 5 non-official Executive Councillors was 47.2 marks. For this latest survey, Bernard Chan obtained a support rating of 49.4 marks, but he was dropped due to his relatively low recognition rate. The overall ratings ranked according to results obtained over the past four surveys are tabulated as follows:

Date of survey

12-14/9/16

1-5/3/17

12-15/9/17

15-20/3/18

No. of times on top 5

Average rating [14]

Overall ranking [15]

Fanny Law

40.6

44.4

41.7

41.1

4

42.0

1

Arthur Li

37.3

39.4

36.7

37.8

4

37.8

2

Regina Ip

49.4

--[16]

47.3

49.7

3

48.8

3

Joseph Yam

--[16]

--[16]

57.9

58.2

2

58.1

4

Lam Woon-kwong

55.6

51.2

--[16]

--[16]

2

53.4

5

Ronny Tong

--[16]

--[16]

49.2

49.1

2

49.1

6

Cheng Yiu-tong

44.4

42.2

--[16]

--[16]

2

43.3

7

Tommy Cheung

--[16]

40.5

--

--

1

40.5

8

[14] “Average rating” is the average of all ratings obtained by Executive Councillors over the past 4 surveys.

[15] “Overall ranking” is first determined by their number of times on top 5, and then their average ratings.

[16] Not a non-official Executive Councillor during the survey period.


The overall rankings in the past four surveys showed that among the current non-official Executive Councillors, only Fanny Law and Arthur Li have been on the list for four times, with average ratings of 42.0 and 37.8 marks respectively. Regina Ip has been on the list for three times with an average rating of 48.8 marks. Joseph Yam and Ronny Tong have been on the list twice with ratings of 58.1 and 49.1 marks respectively. Tommy Cheung has been on the list once with a rating of 40.5.

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 September 12 to 15, 2017 while the latest survey was conducted from March 15 to 20, 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.

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.

9/2/18

The Housing Authority will offer more than 4,400 Home Ownership Scheme Flats next month.

6/1/18

Media reports on the suspected unauthorised building works found in Teresa Cheng’s property.

27/12/17

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress passes the motion of cooperation arrangement for implementing the co-location plan.

4/11/17

The National People’s Congress Standing Committee passes decisions to include the national anthem law in Annex III of the Hong Kong Basic Law.

21/9/17

Former president of the HKU’s student union Billy Fung Jing-en and vice president Colman Li Fung-kei are sentenced to community service for barging into a HKU governing council meeting last year.


II. Public Sentiment Index

Background

The Public Sentiment Index (PSI) compiled by POP aims at quantifying Hong Kong people’s sentiments, in order to explain and predict the likelihood of collective behaviour. PSI comprises 2 components: one being Government Appraisal (GA) Score and the other being Society Appraisal (SA) Score. GA refers to people’s appraisal of society’s governance while SA refers to people’s appraisal of the social environment. Both GA and SA scores are compiled from a respective of 4 and 6 opinion survey figures. All PSI, GA and SA scores range between 0 to 200, with 100 meaning normal, the grading reference of the scores are shown below. For methodological detailed please refer to the HKU POP Site at http://hkupop.hku.hk.

POP started to pilot study the “Public Sentiment Index” in year 2010 in collaboration with NowTV. The first survey was conducted in June 2010, followed by a series of monthly tracking surveys in 2011. There were altogether 13 surveys, covered by 11 releases from March 2011 to January 2012. All results have been uploaded to the POP Site.

At the end of June 2012, before the 15th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong, POP officially released a “PSI analysis” with figures dating back to 1992, spanning over 20 years. Moreover, the frequency of the study was set at twice a month. In October 2012, echoing the start of a new Legislative Council, POP decided to set the cut-off date of all PSI analyses at the Sunday proceeding every 15th and last day of month, whereas the release date was set at the first Thursday following the cut-off date. In July 2017, after the 20th anniversary of the handover, POP further streamlined the release date and mode of PSI analyses to become POP Site release only for the first analysis of each month, and POP Site plus press release for the second analysis of each month. At the same time, the second release was shifted to the first Tuesday of the following month, except under special circumstances.

Cut-off date of the PSI figures released by POP today is March 25, 2018, while that of the next round of release will be April 8, 2018. The tentative release date for the next release will be April 12, 2018 (Thursday).

Latest Figures of PSI

The PSI released by POP today shows that as of March 25, 2018, the latest Public Sentiment Index (PSI) is 106.2, down 0.8 from mid-March. As for the Government Appraisal (GA) and Society Appraisal (SA), the scores are 105.9 and 98.1, up 2.9 and down 4.3 respectively. The chart of PSI, GA and SA are shown below:

Latest figure

Public Sentiment Index
(PSI): 106.2 (-0.8)

Government Appraisal
(GA): 105.9 (+2.9)

Society Appraisal
(SA): 98.1 (-4.3)

Recent values of PSI, GA, SA and 10 fundamental figures are tabulated as follows:

Release date

18/1/18

6/2/18

15/2/18

6/3/18

15/3/18

3/4/18

Latest change[18]

Cut-off date

14/1/18

28/1/18

11/2/18

25/2/18

11/3/18

25/3/18

--

Public Sentiment Index (PSI)

111.6

104.4

106.6

109.6

107.0

106.2

-0.8

Government Appraisal (GA)

108.2

101.3

103.0

107.6

103.1

105.9

+2.9

Rating of CE

58.7

54.4

53.6

55.7

56.3

56.8

+0.4

Net approval rate of CE

15%

4%

4%

7%

6%

3%

-3%

Mean value of people’s satisfaction with SARG

2.9

2.7

2.9

2.9

2.8

2.8

--

Mean value of people’s trust in SARG

3.1

2.9

3.0

3.1

2.9

3.1

+0.1

Society Appraisal (SA)

105.4

99.5

101.6

102.5

102.4

98.1

-4.3

People’s satisfaction with political condition

2.2

2.1

2.1

2.2

2.2

2.1

-0.1

Weighting index of political condition

0.31[17]

0.31[17]

0.31[17]

0.31[17]

0.31[17]

0.31[17]

--

People’s satisfaction with economic condition

3.1

3.1

3.1

3.1

3.1

3.1

--

Weighting index of economic condition

0.34[17]

0.34[17]

0.34[17]

0.34[17]

0.34[17]

0.34[17]

--

People’s satisfaction with livelihood condition

2.7

2.6

2.7

2.6

2.6

2.5

-0.1

Weighting index of livelihood condition

0.36[17]

0.36[17]

0.36[17]

0.36[17]

0.36[17]

0.36[17]

--

[17] POP will adopt the latest published weighting index figures when there are no respective updates.

[18] Latest changes are based on the differences between the exact values of the two figures, but not the rounded figures shown in the table.


As for the meaning of the score values, please refer to the following:

Score value

Percentile

Score value

Percentile

140-200

Highest 1%

0-60

Lowest 1%

125

Highest 5%

75

Lowest 5%

120

Highest 10%

80

Lowest 10%

110

Highest 25%

90

Lowest 25%

100 being normal level, meaning half above half below


The latest PSI of 106.2 can be considered as among the best 34% across the past 20 years or so, while the GA and SA scores of 105.9 and 98.1 can be considered as among the best 35% and worst 45% respectively.

Commentary

Note: The following commentary was written by Senior Data Analyst of POP, Edward Tai.

The latest “top 5 Executive Councillors” survey shows that compared to half a year ago, in terms of familiarity, all non-official Executive Councillors who were in the “top 5” list last time remain in the list. Among them, the ratings of Regina Ip, Arthur Li and Joseph Yam have increased while those of Fanny Law and Ronny Tong have decreased, but only the rating of Regina Ip has changed beyond sampling error. In terms of absolute ratings, only Joseph Yam on the “top 5” list scores more than 50 marks at 58.2. In terms of relative rankings, Joseph Yam continues to rank first, Regina Ip and Ronny Tong swap positions to rank second and third, while Fanny Law and Arthur Li continue to rank fourth and fifth. It should be noted, however, that our list of “top 5” only includes non-official Councillors best known to the public, ranked according to their support ratings. Some of the other Councillors may well have very high or low support ratings, but because they are not the most well-known Councillors, they do not appear on the list by design.

As for the Public Sentiment Index (PSI), the latest PSI stands at 106.2, dropped 0.8 point since mid-March. This time the two component scores of PSI go in opposite directions. Specifically, the Government Appraisal (GA) Score that reflects people’s appraisal of society’s governance goes up by 2.9 points to 105.9, whereas the Society Appraisal (SA) Score that reflects people’s appraisal of the social environment decreases by 4.3 points to 98.1. As for the reasons affecting the ups and downs of these figures, we leave it to our readers to form their own judgment using detailed records displayed in our “Opinion Daily”.

Future Release (Tentative)

  • April 10, 2018 (Tuesday) 12pm to 2pm: Popularity figures of CE and Principal Officials

  • Reference Materials on Survey on PSI