HKU POP releases its June Fourth anniversary survey for the last time Back

 

Press Release on June 3, 2019

| Detailed Findings (June Fourth Incident) |

| Detailed Findings (Public Sentiment Index Feature Page) |

Special Announcements

1. The Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute (HKPORI) started to operate officially on May 4, 2019 as a civil society conscientious enterprise, its website at https://www.pori.hk is scheduled to start operating around June 4. The Institute is now recruiting advisors and volunteers, we welcome people with passion to join us.

2. Under HKPORI will be a research program called Hong Kong Public Opinion Program (HKPOP) which will continue to conduct public opinion surveys but will require public funding before releasing them. This means that self-funded tracking surveys covering about 25 broad topics and almost 250 opinion questions, including the June Fourth anniversary survey released today for the last time by the Public Opinion Programme at The University of Hong Kong (HKUPOP) may or may not be conducted again next year.

3. To bid farewell, HKUPOP today lists the topics of 4 remaining releases to be issued before July. Due to the need to handle the transition of HKUPOP to HKPOP, the exact dates of these 4 releases are yet to be decided:

Popularity of CE and Principal Officials: June 11, 2019 (Tuesday)
Popularity of disciplinary forces: release date to be decided
Hong Kong people’s ethnic identity, HKSAR Anniversary Survey: release date to be decided
Popularity of CE and HKSAR Government, Public Sentiment Index: release date to be decided

4. Robert Chung the Director of HKUPOP today releases a short article entitled “My Dream for China: Before June 4” on his online column “Chung’s Blunt Words” to share his feelings about May Fourth and June Fourth. This is an irregular column with the following website http://www.facebook.com/ChungsBluntWords, and the article would also be re-published in full or in part at HKPOPI’s website. The copyright of all articles there are open to the world, free for re-publication, while early or concurrent publication can also be arranged. Here are HKPORI’s social media accounts:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/HKPublicOpinionProgram
Twitter – https://www.twitter.com/hkporihkpop (HKPOP)
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/h.k.p.o.p

Abstract

HKUPOP successfully interviewed 1,013 Hong Kong residents by random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers in late May. Our survey shows that from a broad perspective, Hong Kong people’s mainstream opinion still holds that the Chinese Government was wrong in 1989, people still support the Beijing students, and demand a reversion of the official stand on June Fourth. The percentages of those who consider the human rights condition in China worse than that in 1989 and those who think the condition will worsen in the next three years have again registered record high since this survey began in 1993. Hong Kong people continue to think that they have a responsibility to promote democratic and economic developments in China. When asked to balance the priority between democratic and economic development that Hong Kong people should put more effort on, if one had to choose between the two, the ratio is 44% versus 31%, the former has reached its record high since this survey began in 1993. When asked to balance the priority between democratic and economic development for China, again choosing one out of two, the ratio becomes 50% versus 31% in favour of democratic development, the former has also reached its record high since this survey began in 1993. Compared to a year ago, the popularity rating of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movement in China has significantly increased by 3.3 marks to 50.3. The percentage of people who oppose to disbanding the Alliance is 53%, which remains to be the majority as compared to the 20% who support the disbanding. Further analyses show that the younger the respondents, the more they blame the Chinese Government, the more they support the Beijing students, and the more they demand for a reversion of the official stand on June Fourth. This probably reflects the demand for democracy among the younger generation. The effective response rate of the survey is 61.9%. The maximum sampling error of percentages is +/-3% and that of ratings is +/-1.9 at 95% confidence level.

As for the Public Sentiment Index (PSI), the latest PSI stands at 89.4, down by 1.0 points from early May. This time among the two component scores of PSI, the Government Appraisal (GA) Score that reflects people’s appraisal of society’s governance goes down by 2.6 points to 85.5, whereas the Society Appraisal (SA) Score that reflects people’s appraisal of the social environment goes up by 0.8 points to 88.3.

Contact Information

Date of survey

:

20-23/5/2019

Survey method

:

Random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers

Target population

:

Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong residents aged 18 or above

Sample size[1]

:

1,013 (including 675 landline and 338 mobile samples)

Effective response rate[2]

:

61.9%

Sampling error[3]

:

Sampling error of percentages not more than +/-3% and that of ratings not more than +/-1.9 at 95% confidence level

Weighting method[4]

:

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 2018”, 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)”.

[1] Starting from April 2018, HKUPOP revised the landline and mobile sample ratio to 2 to 1. The figures released today by HKUPOP have already incorporated landline and mobile samples.

[2] Before September 2017, “overall response rate” was used to report surveys’ contact information. Starting from September 2017, “effective response rate” was used. In July 2018, HKUPOP further revised the calculation of effective response rate. Thus, the response rates before and after the change cannot be directly compared.

[3] All error figures in this release are calculated at 95% confidence level. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times with different random samples, we would expect 95 times having the population parameter within the respective error margins calculated. Because of sampling errors, when quoting percentages, journalists should refrain from reporting decimal places, whereas one decimal place can be used when quoting rating figures.

[4] 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, HKUPOP 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.


June Fourth Anniversary Survey

Latest Figures

Figures of the latest June Fourth Anniversary Survey are summarized as follows:

Date of survey

22-28/5/15

16-19/5/16

22-25/5/17

21-25/5/18

20-23/5/19

Latest change

Sample size

1,089

1,001

1,003

1,009

1,013

--

Response rate

65.1%

67.6%

69.7%

55.9%

61.9%

--

Latest findings

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding & error

--

Proportion of respondents believing:

The Beijing students did the right thing

49%

47%

46%

50%[5]

52+/-3%

+2%

The Beijing students did the wrong thing

17%

17%

22%[5]

17%[5]

21+/-3%

+3%

The Chinese Government did the right thing

14%

11%[5]

12%

11%

13+/-2%

+1%

The Chinese Government did the wrong thing

63%

66%

69%

68%

68+/-3%

--

There should be a reversion of the official stand on the incident

52%[5]

59%[5]

55%[5]

54%

59+/-3%

+4%

There should not be a reversion of the official stand on the incident

24%[5]

20%[5]

27%[5]

24%

23+/-3%

-1%

China’s human rights condition has improved since 1989

61%[5]

46%[5]

53%[5]

47%[5]

44+/-3%

-3%

China’s human rights condition has worsened since 1989

15%[5]

24%[5]

23%

28%[5]

33+/-3%

+5%[5]

China’s human rights condition would improve after 3 years

44%[5]

32%[5]

38%[5]

34%[5]

32+/-3%

-2%

China’s human rights condition would worsen after 3 years

16%[5]

25%[5]

23%

31%[5]

37+/-3%

+6%[5]

HK people have a responsibility to instigate the development of democracy in China

66%

62%[5]

58%[5]

56%

62+/-3%

+6%[5]

HK people have no responsibility to instigate the development of democracy in China

24%

27%

30%

31%

28+/-3%

-3%

HK people have a responsibility to instigate economic development in China

62%

57%[5]

58%

59%

59+/-3%

--

HK people have no responsibility to instigate economic development in China

28%

34%[5]

36%

33%

35+/-3%

+2%

HK people should put more effort on instigating economic than democratic development in China

29%

29%

32%

35%

31+/-3%

-5%[5]

HK people should put more effort on instigating democratic than economic development in China

37%

36%

38%

36%

44+/-3%

+8%[5]

China should emphasize more on economic development

28%

29%

32%

32%

31+/-3%

-1%

China should emphasize more on democratic development

41%[5]

44%

46%

45%

50+/-3%

+5%[5]

[5] Such changes have gone beyond the sampling errors at 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.

This year’s survey findings revealed that 52% of the respondents believed that the Beijing students did the right thing in 1989, while 21% believed that they did the wrong thing. Meanwhile, with regard to the way the Chinese Government handled the matter at that time, 13% regarded it as correct and 68% regarded it as wrong.

The findings also showed that 59% of the respondents supported a reversion of the official stand on the incident while 23% did not. Regarding the human rights condition in China, 44% of the respondents believed that China’s human rights condition has been improved since 1989, and 32% anticipated that China’s human rights condition will be improved after 3 years.

Moreover, 62% of the respondents believed that Hong Kong people had a responsibility to instigate the development of democracy in China, whereas on the economic aspect, 59% believed that Hong Kong people had such a responsibility. When comparing democratic and economic development, 31% of the respondents believed Hong Kong people should put more effort on instigating economic development in China, while 44% of the respondents put more weight on the development of democracy. Furthermore, 31% believed that China should emphasize more on its economic development, while 50% believed that China should emphasize more on the development of democracy.

Latest figures regarding the HK Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movement in China (“the Alliance”) are as follows:

Date of survey

22-28/5/15

16-19/5/16

22-25/5/17

21-25/5/18

20-23/5/19

Latest change

Sample size

1,089

1,001

1,003

1,009

1,013

--

Response rate

65.1%

67.6%

69.7%

55.9%

61.9%

--

Latest findings

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding & e rror

--

Popularity rating of the HK Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movement in China (“the Alliance”)

44.6[6]

50.1[6]

46.9[6]

47.0

50.3+/-1.9

+3.3[6]

The Alliance should be disbanded

26%[6]

21%[6]

25%[6]

21%[6]

20+/-3%

-1%

The Alliance should not be disbanded

38%[6]

51%[6]

46%[6]

45%

53+/-3%

+8%[6]

[6] Such changes have gone beyond the sampling errors at 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.


Lastly, regarding the Alliance, 20% of the respondents said the Alliance should be disbanded, 53% said no. The latest popularity rating of the Alliance was 50.3 marks.

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 respondents’ views on the Chinese Government and Beijing students in the June Fourth Incident and on a reversion of the official stand on the incident by respondents’ age:

Date of survey: 20-23/5/2019

18-29

30-49

50 or above

Overall sample

Chinese Government did the right / wrong thing in the June Fourth Incident[7]

Right

2+/-2%
(3)

10+/-3%
(31)

18+/-4%
(89)

13+/-2%
(123)

Wrong

83+/-6%
(132)

73+/-5%
(235)

60+/-4%
(289)

68+/-3%
(656)

Don’t know / Hard to say

15+/-6%
(24)

18+/-4%
(57)

22+/-4%
(105)

19+/-3%
(186)

Total

100%
(159)

100%
(323)

100%
(483)

100%
(965)

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


Date of survey: 20-23/5/2019

18-29

30-49

50 or above

Overall sample

Beijing students did the right / wrong thing in the June Fourth Incident[8]

Right

68+/-7%
(109)

51+/-6%
(160)

48+/-5%
(231)

52+/-3%
(501)

Wrong

11+/-5%
(17)

18+/-4%
(56)

26+/-4%
(124)

20+/-3%
(197)

Don’t know / Hard to say

21+/-6%
(34)

32+/-5%
(100)

27+/-4%
(130)

27+/-3%
(264)

Total

100%
(161)

100%
(316)

100%
(485)

100%
(962)

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


Date of survey: 20-23/5/2019

18-29

30-49

50 or above

Overall sample

There should be a reversion of the official stand on the incident[9]

Support

74+/-7%
(115)

62+/-5%
(200)

52+/-5%
(250)

59+/-3%
(565)

Do not support

11+/-5%
(17)

21+/-5%
(70)

28+/-4%
(135)

23+/-3%
(222)

Don’t know / Hard to say

15+/-6%
(24)

17+/-4%
(55)

20+/-4%
(93)

18+/-2%
(172)

Total

100%
(156)

100%
(325)

100%
(478)

100%
(959)

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


Public Sentiment Index

Background

The Public Sentiment Index (PSI) compiled by HKUPOP 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.

At the end of June 2012, before the 15th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong, HKUPOP 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. Currently, the cut-off dates of all PSI analyses are set at the Sundays proceeding every 15th and last day of month. The first analysis of each month would be released through the HKU POP Site at the Thursday following the cut-off date, while the second analysis would be released at the first Tuesday of the following month through the HKU POP Site and press release.

Latest Figures of PSI

The PSI released by HKUPOP today shows that as of May 26, 2019, the latest Public Sentiment Index (PSI) is 89.4, down 1.0 from early May. As for the Government Appraisal (GA) and Society Appraisal (SA), the scores are 85.5 and 88.3. The former went down by 2.6 while the later went up by 0.8. The chart of PSI, GA and SA are shown below:

Latest figure

Public Sentiment Index
(PSI): 89.4 (-1.0)

Government Appraisal
(GA): 85.5 (-2.6)

Society Appraisal
(SA): 88.3 (+0.8)


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

Release date

14/3/19

2/4/19

18/4/19

7/5/19

16/5/19

3/6/19

Latest change

Cut-off date

10/3/19

24/3/19

14/4/19

28/4/19

12/5/19

26/5/19

--

Public Sentiment Index (PSI)

95.1

97.1

95.4

92.3

90.3

89.4

-1.0

Government Appraisal (GA)

92.0

93.8

90.7

91.6

88.0

85.5

-2.6

Rating of CE

50.9

52.6[11]

48.5

49.0

44.3

44.7

+0.4

Net approval rate of CE

-16%

-7%

-17%

-13%

-24%

-27%

-3%

Mean value of people’s satisfaction with SARG

2.6[10]

2.6

2.6[10]

2.6

2.6[10]

2.5

-0.2

Mean value of people’s trust in SARG

2.7

2.7[10]

2.7[10]

2.7[10]

2.7[10]

2.7

--

Society Appraisal (SA)

92.1[10]

93.9

93.9[10]

87.4

87.4[10]

88.3

+0.8

People’s satisfaction with political condition

2.2[10]

2.2

2.2[10]

2.1

2.1[10]

1.9

-0.1

Weighting index of political condition

0.30[10]

0.30[10]

0.30[10]

0.30[10]

0.30[10]

0.30[10]

--

People’s satisfaction with economic condition

2.9[10]

2.8

2.8[10]

2.8

2.8[10]

2.8

--

Weighting index of economic condition

0.34[10]

0.34[10]

0.34[10]

0.34[10]

0.34[10]

0.34[10]

--

People’s satisfaction with livelihood condition

2.4[10]

2.5

2.5[10]

2.4

2.4[10]

2.5

+0.1

Weighting index of livelihood condition

0.35[10]

0.35[10]

0.35[10]

0.35[10]

0.35[10]

0.35[10]

--

[10] HKUPOP will adopt the latest published figures when there are no respective updates.

[11] The original figure was mistaken, it is hereby corrected.


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 89.4 can be considered as among the worst 24% across the past 20 years or so, while the GA and SA scores of 85.5 and 88.3 can be considered as among the worst 17% and 22% respectively.

Commentary

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

This is the 27th anniversary survey on the June Fourth Incident conducted by HKUPOP, marking its 30th anniversary. From a broad perspective, Hong Kong people’s mainstream opinion still holds that the Chinese Government was wrong in 1989, people still support the Beijing students, and demand a reversion of the official stand on June Fourth. The percentages of those who consider the human rights condition in China worse than that in 1989 and those who think the condition will worsen in the next three years have again registered record high since this survey began in 1993. Hong Kong people continue to think that they have a responsibility to promote democratic and economic developments in China. When asked to balance the priority between democratic and economic development that Hong Kong people should put more effort on, if one had to choose between the two, the ratio is 44% versus 31%, the former has reached its record high since this survey began in 1993. When asked to balance the priority between democratic and economic development for China, again choosing one out of two, the ratio becomes 50% versus 31% in favour of democratic development, the former has also reached its record high since this survey began in 1993. Compared to a year ago, the popularity rating of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movement in China has significantly increased by 3.3 marks to 50.3. The percentage of people who oppose to disbanding the Alliance is 53%, which remains to be the majority as compared to the 20% who support the disbanding. Further analyses show that the younger the respondents, the more they blame the Chinese Government, the more they support the Beijing students, and the more they demand for a reversion of the official stand on June Fourth. This probably reflects the demand for democracy among the younger generation.

As for the Public Sentiment Index (PSI), the latest PSI stands at 89.4, down by 1.0 point from early May. This time among the two component scores of PSI, the Government Appraisal (GA) Score that reflects people’s appraisal of society’s governance goes down by 2.6 points to 85.5, whereas the Society Appraisal (SA) Score that reflects people’s appraisal of the social environment goes up by 0.8 points to 88.3. 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)

  • June 11, 2019 (Tuesday) 12pm to 2pm: Popularity of CE and Principal Officials

  • Reference Materials on Survey on PSI