HKU POP SITE releases the latest popularity figures of CE Donald Tsang and Principal OfficialsBack


Press Release on August 8, 2006
 

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Latest Figures
 

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 CE Donald Tsang and Principal Officials under the accountability system. As a general practice, all figures have been weighted according to provisional figures obtained from the Census and Statistics Department regarding the gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population at the end of 2005. Herewith the contact information for the latest survey:


 Date of survey  Overall sample size   Response rate   Sampling error of percentages* 
 1-4/8/06   1,010   56.0%   +/- 3% 
* 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 sample error. Sampling errors of ratings are calculated according to the distribution of the scores collected.
 

As different questions involve different sub-samples, the sample errors will vary accordingly. The table below briefly shows the relationship between sampling errors and sample size for the readers to capture the corresponding changes:

 
Sample size
(total sample or sub-sample) 
 Sampling error for percentages*(maximum value)   Sample size
(total sample or sub-sample) 
 Sampling error for percentages*(maximum value)
 1,300    +/- 2.8 %   1,350    +/- 2.7 % 
 1,200    +/- 2.9 %   1,250    +/- 2.8 % 
 1,100    +/- 3.0 %   1,150    +/- 3.0 % 
 1,000    +/- 3.2 %   1,050    +/- 3.1 % 
 900    +/- 3.3 %   950    +/- 3.2 % 
 800    +/- 3.5 %   850    +/- 3.4 % 
 700    +/- 3.8 %   750    +/- 3.7 % 
 600    +/- 4.1 %   650    +/- 3.9 % 
 500    +/- 4.5 %   550    +/- 4.3 % 
 400    +/- 5.0 %   450    +/- 4.7 % 
* Based on 95% confidence interval.
 

Recent popularity figures of Donald Tsang are summarized as follows:

  Date of survey  1-6/6   19-21/6   4-7/7   14-21/7    1-4/8   Latest change 
  Sample base  1,033   1,012   1,015   1,006   1,010   -- 
  Overall response rate  60.8%   58.2%   55.9%   57.1%   56.0%   -- 
  Sampling error of ratings 
(at 95% confidence level)*
 +/-1.2   +/-1.2   +/-1.2   +/-1.2   +/-1.2   -- 
  Sampling error of percentages 
(at 95% confidence level)*
 +/-3%   +/-3%   +/-3%   +/-3%   +/-3%   -- 
  Rating of CE Donald Tsang  68.1   66.3   65.8   65.4   66.2   +0.8 
  Vote of confidence in CE Donald Tsang  75%   72%   68%   66%   65%   -1% 
  Vote of no confidence in CE Donald Tsang  11%   11%   13%   13%   13%   -- 

* "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.

Figures on the latest popularity ratings of the three Secretaries of Departments under the accountability system are summarized below:

  Date of survey  3-7/4   4-10/5   1-6/6   4-7/7   1-4/8   Latest change* 
  Sample base  1,029   1,019   1,033   1,015   1,010   -- 
  Overall response rate  59.5%   60.7%   60.8%   55.9%   56.0%   -- 
  Sampling error of ratings 
(at 95% confidence level)**
 +/-1.2   +/-1.2   +/-1.2   +/-1.2   +/-1.4   -- 
  Sampling error of percentages
(at 95% confidence level)**
 +/-3%   +/-3%   +/-3%   +/-3%   +/-3%   -- 
  Ratings of CS Rafael Hui  58.4   56.8   57.2   55.8   55.6   -0.2 
  Vote of confidence in Rafael Hui  36%   35%   36%   37%   33%   -4% 
  Vote of no confidence in Rafael Hui  10%   11%   9%   11%   12%   +1% 
  Ratings of FS Henry Tang  65.0   63.3   64.0   63.9   56.5   -7.4 
  Vote of confidence in Henry Tang  67%   64%   64%   69%   50%   -19% 
  Vote of no confidence in Henry Tang  7%   10%   9%   7%   18%   +11% 
  Ratings of SJ Y.L. Wong  66.8   65.5   66.7   65.3   65.7   +0.4 
  Vote of confidence in Y.L.Wong  65%   65%   62%   64%   63%   -1% 
  Vote of no confidence in Y.L.Wong  2%   4%   3%   3%   2%   -1% 

* The frequency of this series of questions is different from that of CE popularity ratings. Comparisons, if made, should be synchronized using the same intervals.
** "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.

As for the popularity indicators based on people's hypothetical reappointment or dismissal votes, the approval and disapproval rates of the Principal Officials are summarized as follows:

  Date of survey  3-7/4  1-6/6  1-4/8  Latest Change(percentage)* 
  Total sample size  1,029 ^  1,033 ^  1,010^  -- 
  Overall response rate  59.5%  60.8%  56.0%  -- 
  Sample base for each question/percentage of answer  Base   %   Base   %   Base   %   -- 
  Vote of confidence in Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee  608   69%   550   72%   597   69%   -3% 
  Vote of no confidence in Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee  608   4%   550   3%   597   4%   +1% 
  Vote of confidence in Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works Sarah Liao  641   46%   607   48%   543   55%   +7% 
  Vote of no confidence in Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works Sarah Liao  641   23%   607   22%   543   19%   -3% 
  Vote of confidence in Secretary for Economic Development and Labour Stephen Ip  599   53%   606   53%   573   51%   -2% 
  Vote of no confidence in Secretary for Economic Development and Labour Stephen Ip  599   5%   606   6%   573   8%   +2% 
  Vote of confidence in Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food York Chow  636   49%   546   45%   589   48%   +3% 
  Vote of no confidence in Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food York Chow  636   17%   546   20%   589   16%   -4% 
  Vote of confidence in Secretary for the Civil Service Denise Yue  692   45%   557   40%   560   46%   +6% 
  Vote of no confidence in Secretary for the Civil Service Denise Yue  692   4%   557   6%   560   3%   -3% 
  Vote of confidence in Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Frederick Ma  694   36%   555   34%   544   37%   +3% 
  Vote of no confidence in Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Frederick Ma  694   20%   555   21%   544   21%   -- 
  Vote of confidence in Secretary for Education and Manpower Arthur Li  687   36%   548   34%   623   36%   +2% 
  Vote of no confidence in Secretary for Education and Manpower Arthur Li  687   32%   548   32%   623   32%   -- 
  Vote of confidence in Secretary for Home Affairs Patrick Ho  612   32%   550   35%   516   31%   -4% 
  Vote of no confidence in Secretary for Home Affairs Patrick Ho  612   26%   550   28%   516   31%   +3% 
  Vote of confidence in Secretary for the Commerce, Industry and Technology Joseph Wong  632   27%   609   29%   529   30%   +1% 
  Vote of no confidence in Secretary for the Commerce, Industry and Technology Joseph Wong  632   16%   609   21%   529   23%   +2% 
  Vote of confidence in Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands Michael Suen  658   29%   561   27%   556   30%   +3% 
  Vote of no confidence in Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands Michael Suen  658   33%   561   32%   556   34%   +2% 
  Vote of confidence in Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Stephen Lam  682   31%   552   25%   535   29%   +4% 
  Vote of no confidence in Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Stephen Lam  682   27%   552   30%   535   25%   -5% 

* This series of questions was conducted once every two months, different from the survey period of popularity ratings. Comparisons, if made, should be synchronized using the same cycle.
** "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.
^ Starting from 2006, these questions only uses sub-samples of the tracking surveys concerned, the sample size for each question also varies.

Results of our latest survey revealed that the rating of CE Donald Tsang was 66.2 marks. Meanwhile, 65% of the respondents supported Tsang as the Chief Executive. As for Secretaries of Departments, the support ratings of CS Rafael Hui Si-yan, FS Henry Tang Ying-yen and SJ Wong Yan-lung were 55.6, 56.5 and 65.7 marks, and 33%, 50% and 63% would vote for their reappointment correspondingly. As for the Directors of Bureaux, results revealed that the top approval rate fell to Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong, attaining 69%. Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works Sarah Liao Sau-tung followed behind in the 2nd rank who attained 55%. The 3rd to 5th ranks went to Secretary for Economic Development and Labour Stephen Ip Shu-kwan, Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food York Chow Yat-ngok and Secretary for the Civil Service Denise Yue Chung-yee, obtaining supporting rates of 51%, 48% and 46% respectively. Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Frederick Ma Si-hang and Secretary for Education and Manpower Arthur Li Kwok-cheung occupied the 6th to 7th places, achieving 37% and 36% accordingly. Secretary for Home Affairs Patrick Ho Chi-ping, Secretary for the Commerce, Industry and Technology Joseph Wong Wing-ping, Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands Michael Suen Ming-yeung and Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Stephen Lam Sui-lung ranked the 8th to 11th, as they gained 31%, 30%, 30% and 29% vote of confidence from the public respectively. In other words, only Ambrose Lee, Sarah Liao and Stephen Ip scored approval rates of over 50% among all Directors of Bureaux.


Commentary

Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, "The major finding of our latest survey is that the popularity of FS Henry Tang has plunged about two grades over a month, obviously affected by the debate on GST (goods and services tax). Tang's support rating dropped more than 7 marks, while his support rate dropped almost 20 percentage points. As for the CE, Donald Tsang's support rating has rebounded, while his support rate has not changed much. This indicates the success of his recent public relations campaign, which has also insulated him from the GST debate. As for other principal officials, other than the significant increase in the popularity of Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works Sarah Liao and Secretary for the Civil Service Denise Yue, the popularity of the remaining two Secretaries of Departments and other Directors of Bureaux has not changed much. Please note that our polling cycles for CE Donald Tsang, Secretaries of Departments and Directors of Bureaux are all different, comparisons should best be made after the figures are synchronized."

News about POP

POP's normal practice is to release the results of our regular surveys every Tuesday afternoon via our POP Site, except during public holidays, each time with a forecast of the items to be released in the next 7 days. According to schedule, our next release of regular survey findings will be August 15, 2006, Tuesday, between 1pm to 2pm, when the top 5 non-official members of Executive Council will be released.

Our general practice is to answer all questions on the research design of the surveys published in the POP Site as soon as we receive them, but we will not further comment on the findings. We welcome questions for follow-up purpose, please email them to us at . 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 POP, is responsible for everything posted herewith, except for column articles which represent the stand of their authors.

Starting from January 2006, we have included in our regular press releases a small educational section for the purpose of general civic education, so that we can share our experience with the general public. The subject of our education section today is "FAQs of Opinion Research".

FAQs of Opinion Research

Q: What is the difference between "support ratings" and "support rates"?
A: Please refer to the answer given in our press release of January 10, 2006.

Q: Is there a "successful" support rate?
A: We discussed the concept of "ideal" support rate in our release of July 25, 2006. We pointed out that if support rate figures can be converted into real votes, then two-thirds majority, or 67%, can be taken as the ultimate test for all constitutional requirements. Likewise, in most constitutional systems, any simple majority of over 50% would return a candidate by popular election. We can, therefore, consider 51% to be the benchmark for a "successful" support rate. Referring to the popularity figures we release today, only Ambrose Lee's popularity rate could be considered "ideal". The popularity of Donald Tsang, Wong Yan-lung, Sarah Liao and Stephen Ip can all be considered as "successful" but less than "ideal". Of course, the factor of statistical coincidence, the meaning of "abstention", and the connections between "support ratings" and "support rates", are also important factors to be considered. We will discuss them here in future.

| Latest Figures | Commentary | News about POP | FAQs of Opinion Research |
| Detailed Findings (Popularity of Chief ExecutivePopularity of Principal Officials) |