HKU POP releases the trust and confidence indicatorsBack

 

Press Release on September 18, 2018

| Detailed Findings (People's Trust in the HKSAR Government) |
| Detailed Findings (People's Trust in the Beijing Central Government) |
| Detailed Findings (People's Trust in the Taiwan Government) |
| Detailed Findings (People's Confidence in HK's Future) |
| Detailed Findings (People's Confidence in China's Future) |
| Detailed Findings (People's Confidence in "One Country, Two Systems") |

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 using a landline and mobile sample ratio of 4 to 1. Starting from April 2018, POP further increased the proportion of mobile sample, which the landline and mobile sample ratio became 2 to 1. The figures released today by POP have already incorporated landline and mobile samples.

2. In September 2017, POP started to use “effective response rate” to report surveys’ contact information. In July 2018, POP further revised the calculation of effective response rate. Thus, the response rates before and after the change cannot be directly compared.

3. 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 interviewed 1,030 Hong Kong people between 3 and 6 September 2018 by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers. Our survey shows that Hong Kong people’s net trust in the local government has not changed much since two months ago. The net trust now stands at positive 15 percentage points. Meanwhile, people’s net trusts in the Central Government and the Taiwan Government have increased compared to four months ago. The latest figures are zero and negative 23 percentage points respectively. As for the confidence indicators, the changes in all three indicators are not statistically significant. People’s confidence in the future of China remains the highest among the three, the latest net confidence being positive 30 percentage points, while the net confidence in the future of Hong Kong is negative 1 percentage point and that in “one country, two systems” is negative 4 percentage points. Further analysis shows that the younger the respondent, the less one trusts the Central Government and the less confident in Hong Kong’s future and “one country, two systems”. 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 50%.

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 1,030 successful interviews, not 1,030 x 50.4% 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 +/-9%”.

[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

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 provided by the Census and Statistics Department. The gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population came from “Mid-year population for 2017”, while the educational attainment (highest level attended) distribution and economic activity status distribution came from “Women and Men in Hong Kong - Key Statistics (2018 Edition)”. In the past, the mobile sample would be rim-weighted according to the basic Public Sentiment Index (PSI) figures collected in the landline sample. In July 2018, POP further refined the weighting method. The landline sample and the mobile sample would no longer be processed separately. The mobile sample would also no longer be adjusted using the basic PSI figures collected in the landline sample. The overall effect is that the importance of the mobile sample would be increased. Herewith the contact information for the latest survey:

Date of survey

Sample size

Effective response rate

Maximum sampling error of percentages[6]

3-6/9/2018

1,030

50.4%

+/-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 and net approval rates are calculated according to the distribution of the scores collected.


Recent popularity figures of SAR, Beijing Central and Taiwan Governments and people’s confidence in the future as well as “one country, two systems” are summarized below:

Date of survey

4-7/6/18

14-21/6/18

3-5/7/18

18-23/7/18

3-6/9/18

Latest change

Sample size[7]

1,001

1,000

1,001

1,002

1,030

--

Effective response rate

56.3%

59.6%

49.5%

49.0%

50.4%

--

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding & error[9]

--

Trust in HKSAR Government[10]

49%[11]

51%

45%[11]

46%

51+/-4%

+5%

Distrust in HKSAR Government[10]

36%[11]

35%

36%

37%

36+/-4%

-2%

Net trust

13%[11]

16%

9%

9%

15+/-8%

+6%

Mean value[10]

3.1[11]

(Base=616)

3.1

(Base=618)

3.0

(Base=562)

3.0

(Base=583)

3.1+/-0.1

(Base=507)

+0.1


Date of survey

13-15/6/17

1-6/9/17

3-4/1/18

21-25/5/18

3-6/9/18

Latest change

Sample size[7]

1,004

1,010[8]

1,000

1,009

1,030

--

Response rate*

69.8%

51.0%

58.3%

55.9%

50.4%

--

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding & error[9]

--

Trust in Beijing Government[10]

37%

36%

38%

34%

40+/-4%

+6%[11] [12]

Distrust in Beijing Government[10]

40%

45%[11]

45%

48%

40+/-4%

-7%[11]

Net trust

-3%

-9%[11]

-7%

-14%

0+/-8%

+14%[11]

Mean value[10]

2.9

(Base=552)

2.8

(Base=681)

2.8

(Base=583)

2.7

(Base=533)

2.9+/-0.1

(Base=507)

+0.3[11]

Trust in Taiwan Government[10]

19%

17%

17%

17%

22+/-4%

+5%

Distrust in Taiwan Government[10]

46%

41%

41%

50%[11]

45+/-4%

-6%

Net trust

-27%

-24%

-25%

-33%[11]

-23+/-7%

+10%[11] [12]

Mean value[10]

2.5

(Base=488)

2.5

(Base=553)

2.5

(Base=416)

2.4

(Base=403)

2.5+/-0.1

(Base=419)

+0.2[11] [12]

Confidence in HK’s future

49%

55%[11]

51%

46%[11]

46+/-4%

+1%

No-confidence in HK’s future

40%

39%

43%

48%[11]

47+/-4%

-1%

Net confidence

9%

17%[11]

8%[11]

-2%[11]

-1+/-9%

+1%

Confidence in China’s future

66%

65%[11]

70%[11]

61%[11]

62+/-4%

+1%

No-confidence in China’s future

26%

27%

25%

31%[11]

31+/-4%

--

Net confidence

40%

37%[11]

45%[11]

30%[11]

30+/-8%

--

Confidence in “one country,
two systems”

49%

49%

47%

40%[11]

45+/-4%

+5%

No-confidence in “one country,
two systems”

43%

46%

47%

54%[11]

49+/-4%

-5%

Net confidence

6%

3%

0%

-14%[11]

-4+/-8%

+11%

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

[7] Some questions only use sub-samples of the tracking surveys concerned. The sub-sample sizes of the surveys range from 515 to 538, and the increased sampling errors have already been reflected in the figures tabulated.

[8] The mobile sample was not included when survey results were released. The figures in the table above have been updated to reflect the results based on the combined landline and mobile sample. However, whether changes have gone beyond sampling errors is still determined based on the figures in the first release.

[9] 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% and of net values not more than +/-9% at 95% confidence level” when quoting the above figures. The error margin of previous survey can be found at the POP Site.

[10] 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.

[11] 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.

[12] Such changes have gone beyond the sampling errors at the 95% confidence level because of a change in the weighting method. If the previous weighting method was used, the changes would not have gone beyond the sampling errors.


Latest survey revealed that 51% of the respondents trusted the HKSAR Government, 40% trusted the Beijing Central Government, and 22% trusted the Taiwan Government. The net trust values are positive 15, zero and negative 23 percentage points, while the mean scores of these trust indicators are 3.1, 2.9 and 2.5 respectively, meaning between “half-half” and “quite distrust” in general. On the other hand, 46% of the respondents had confidence in Hong Kong’s future, 62% had confidence in China’s future, while 45% of the respondents were confident in “one country, two systems”. The three net confidence values are negative 1, positive 30 and negative 4 percentage points respectively.

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 above. Herewith further analysis of respondents’ trust in Beijing Central Government, confidence in Hong Kong’s future and “one country, two systems” by age:

Date of survey: 3-6/9/2018

18-29

30-49

50 or above

Overall Sample

Percentage of trust /
distrust in Beijing Central Government[13]

Trust

20+/-9%
(16)

32+/-7%
(60)

52+/-6%
(132)

40+/-4%
(208)

Half-half

9+/-7%
(7)

18+/-6%
(33)

18+/-5%
(45)

16+/-3%
(85)

Distrust

68+/-11%
(54)

47+/-7%
(89)

28+/-6%
(70)

41+/-4%
(212)

Don’t know /
hard to say

3+/-3%
(3)

3+/-2%
(6)

3+/-2%
(7)

3+/-1%
(16)

Total

100%
(79)

100%
(188)

100%
(253)

100%
(521)

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


Date of survey: 3-6/9/2018

18-29

30-49

50 or above

Overall Sample

Percentage of confidence / no-confidence
in Hong Kong’s future[14]

Confidence

35+/-11%
(29)

44+/-7%
(78)

52+/-6%
(126)

46+/-4%
(232)

No-confidence

60+/-11%
(49)

51+/-8%
(90)

41+/-6%
(100)

47+/-4%
(239)

Don’t know /
hard to say

5+/-5%
(4)

5+/-3%
(9)

8+/-3%
(19)

6+/-2%
(33)

Total

100%
(82)

100%
(177)

100%
(245)

100%
(504)

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


Date of survey: 3-6/9/2018

18-29

30-49

50 or above

Overall Sample

Percentage of confidence / no-confidence
in “one country,
two systems”[15]

Confidence

33+/-10%
(30)

37+/-7%
(73)

58+/-6%
(138)

46+/-4%
(241)

No-confidence

66+/-10%
(60)

57+/-7%
(114)

36+/-6%
(85)

49+/-4%
(259)

Don’t know /
hard to say

1+/-1%
(1)

6+/-3%
(13)

6+/-3%
(15)

6+/-2%
(29)

Total

100%
(91)

100%
(200)

100%
(238)

100%
(529)

[15] 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, some items within the previous survey were conducted from May 21 to 25, 2018 while this survey was conducted from September 3 to 6, 2018. 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.

3/9/18

The Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation opens.

23/8/18

The Hong Kong Section of Express Rail Link will be commissioned on September 23.

16/8/18

Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan residents could apply for identity cards in mainland China from September 1.

14/8/18

Andy Chan Ho-tin, convenor of the Hong Kong National Party, delivers his speech in luncheon held by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club.

10/8/18

Buildings near the construction site of Exhibition Centre Station of MTR Shatin to Central Link are found to be affected by land subsidence.

9/8/18

Buildings near the construction site of To Kwa Wan Station are found to be affected by land subsidence.

7/8/18

Five members of the MTR top management team resign because of problems about the construction of the Shatin to Central Link.

1/8/18

Media continues to report on China-US trade war.

20/7/18

The former Chief Executive Donald Tsang loses his appeal and is required to go back to prison.

17/7/18

The government bans the Hong Kong National Party using the Societies Ordinance.

1/7/18

The 21st anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

15/6/18

China and the US announce an additional 25% tariff on goods from each other.

6/6/18

Dishonest practices were exposed in the coupling of steel bars in Hung Hom Station at the Shatin to Central Link.


Commentary

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

Our latest survey in early September shows that Hong Kong people’s net trust in the local government has not changed much since two months ago. The net trust now stands at positive 15 percentage points. Meanwhile, people’s net trusts in the Central Government and the Taiwan Government have increased compared to four months ago. The latest figures are zero and negative 23 percentage points respectively.

As for the confidence indicators, the changes in all three indicators are not statistically significant. People’s confidence in the future of China remains the highest among the three, the latest net confidence being positive 30 percentage points, while the net confidence in the future of Hong Kong is negative 1 percentage point and that in “one country, two systems” is negative 4 percentage points. Further analysis shows that the younger the respondent, the less one trusts the Central Government and the less confident in Hong Kong’s future and “one country, two systems”. 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)

  • September 26, 2018 (Wednesday) 12pm to 2pm: Popularity of CE and HKSAR Government, People’s expectation of Policy Address, Ratings of the Best Corporations