HKU POP SITE releases the latest popularity figures of Acting CE, FS and findings of the Budget follow-up surveyBack


Press Release on April 21, 2005
 

The Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong today releases on schedule via the "HKU POP SITE" (http://hkupop.hku.hk) the latest popularity figures of Acting Chief Executive Donald Tsang and Financial Secretary Henry Tang, as well as results of the Budget follow-up survey. In the past many years, POP has conducted instant polls after the head of the government delivered his Policy Address, or after the Financial Secretary delivered his Budget Speech. Such instant polls, which measure people's instant reaction to the policies, would be followed weeks later by our follow-up surveys, which measure people's more matured reaction. We believe this is a better way to study public opinion on these issues. The Budget instant poll this year has already been released quite some time ago, while the findings of the follow-up survey are released today. As a general practice, all figures have been weighted according to the gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population obtained from the Population Census. Popularity figures of Donald Tsang and Henry Tang are first summarized as follows:

 
  CH Tung's term Donald Tsang's term
 Date of survey 1-4/2 17-20/2 1-3/3 16/3 1-6/4 11-14/4 Latest change
 Sample base 1,019 1,026 1,019 1,041 1,024 1,009 --
 Overall response rate 61.5% 67.1% 63.1% 65.2% 63.1% 62.8% --
 Sampling error of ratings(at 95% conf. level)* +/- 1.4 +/- 1.4 +/- 1.4 +/- 1.0 +/- 1.2 +/- 1.0 --
 Sampling error of percentages (at 95% conf. level)* +/- 3% +/- 3% +/- 3% +/- 3% +/- 3% +/- 3% --
 Rating of CE/Acting CE 46.1 48.4 47.9** 70.4 69.3 71.8 +2.5
 Vote of confidence in CE/Acting CE 13% 16% 18% 68% 69% 73% +4%
 Vote of no confidence in CE/Acting CE 67% 69% 69% 9% 12% 9% -3%
 Rating of FS Henry Tang 58.1 -- 59.7 63.3 60.4 62.3 +1.9
 Vote of confidence in FS Henry Tang 61% -- -- 64% 61% 60% -1%
 Vote of no confidence in FS Henry Tang 8% -- -- 5% 6% 4% -2%

* "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 parallel rating of Donald Tsang as Chief Secretary was 63.7 marks.

 

The latest survey conducted in mid-April showed that, Acting CE Donald Tsang scored 71.8 marks, and 73% supported him as the Chief Executive. On the other hand, FS Henry Tang scored 62.3 marks, with a support rate of 60%.

 

Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, analyzed, "The popularity of Donald Tsang has gone up again, this time almost reaching his own record high of 71.9 marks registered in February 2001, when he was the Financial Secretary. Tsang's popularity rating is now 1.4 marks more than one month ago when he became the Acting Chief Executive, and his approval rate, as a government head, also stands at an unprecedented 73%. This shows that Tsang is enjoying his popularity honeymoon period, but whether he can maintain this advantage in the long run is something yet to be seen."

 

Results of the Budget follow-up poll, together with the instant poll, are tabulated below:

 
  Instant poll Follow-up poll Latest change
 Date of survey 16/3 11-14/4 --
 Sample base 1,041 1,009 --
 Overall response rate 65.2% 62.8% --
 Sampling error of percentages (at 95% conf. level)* +/- 3% +/- 3% --
 Appraisal of Budget: Satisfaction rate**# 48% 40% -8%
 Appraisal of Budget: Dissatisfaction rate **# 11% 18% +7%
 Satisfied with the government's strategy in monetary arrangement** 29% 30% +1%
 Dissatisfied with the government's strategy in monetary arrangement** 15% 24% +9%
 Agreed to FS' principle of "market leads and government facilitates" 71% 62% -9%
 Disagreed to FS' principle of "market leads and government facilitates" 8% 11% +3%
 Regarded tax relief measures adequate 53% 41% -12%
 Regarded tax relief measures inadequate 36% 46% +10%
 Agreed to FS' proposal that there would be no adjustment in the duty on alcoholic beverages and rates charge, and no introduction of new tax items at this stage 71% 68% -3%
 Disagreed to FS' proposal that there would be no adjustment in the duty on alcoholic beverages and rates charge, and no introduction of new tax items at this stage 18% 20% +2%
 Perceived the tax system in Hong Kong to be fair ** 59% 57% -2%
 Perceived the tax system in Hong Kong to be unfair** 27% 30% +3%
 Perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong to be reasonable** 29% 29% --
 Perceived the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong to be unreasonable** 51% 51% --

* "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.
** Collapsed from a 5-point scale.
# Excluding respondents who had not heard of the Budget. Because of the smaller sample size, the sampling error has increased accordingly.

 

The follow-up poll in mid-April revealed that, after excluding those respondents who said they had not heard of the Budget, 40% of the respondents were satisfied with the Budget and 18% were dissatisfied. Of all 1,009 respondents, 30% were satisfied with the government's strategy in monetary arrangement, whereas 24% were dissatisfied.

 

As for FS Henry Tang's analysis on Hong Kong economy, 62% agreed with his principle of "market leads and government facilitates", whereas 11% disagreed. Regarding the specific proposals suggested in the Budget, 41% regarded Henry Tang's tax relief proposals adequate, while 46% thought them inadequate. Besides, 68% welcomed the proposed measures of "no adjustment in the duty on alcoholic beverages and rates charge, as well as no introduction of new tax items", whilst 20% held the contrary view.

 

With respect to Hong Kong's tax system, 57% considered it fair, whilst 30% thought it unfair. Last of all, 29% regarded the distribution of wealth in Hong Kong reasonable, as contrast to 51% who considered it unreasonable.

 

Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, analyzed again, "Over the past six years, people's receptiveness of the government's Budget drops after it has been debated for some time. All in all, people's reaction to this year's Budget has been fairly positive and is better than the past two years, but still not as good as that for the first Budget prepared by Antony Leung. On specific terms, people welcome Henry Tang's proposal of no tax adjustment, but consider his tax relief measures inadequate. Although most people consider Hong Kong's tax system fair, they also consider the current distribution of wealth unreasonable."

 

POP's normal practice is to release the results of our regular surveys every Tuesday at 2 pm via our POP Site, except during public holidays, each time with a forecast of the items to be released in the forthcoming week. We will review and adjust this operation regularly. The date and time of our next release will be April 26, 2005, Tuesday, at 2 pm, the latest popularity figures of Acting CE and HKSAR Government will be released. Then on April 28, 2005, Thursday, at 2 pm, we will release the latest figures of people's satisfaction with the performances of the Legislative Council members, the People's Liberation Army Hong Kong garrison and the Hong Kong Police Force.

 

Shall anyone have any question regarding the research design of the surveys published in the POP Site, members of the POP Team will be happy to answer them, but we will not further comment on the findings. Shall any person or journalist have any other questions, please email them to us at <[email protected]>. The Director of Public Opinion Programme would answer them as soon as possible. We will keep such an arrangement under constant review, suggestions most welcome. Please note that everything carried in the POP Site does not represent the stand of the University of Hong Kong. Dr Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, is responsible for everything posted herewith, except for column articles which represent the stand of their authors.