HKU POP SITE releases the latest results of the Handover Anniversary survey and Robert Chung's comments on people's sentiment in the past 10 yearsBack


Press Release on June 28, 2007
 

| Special Announcement | Latest Figures | Commentary | News about POP | About HKUPOP |
| Detailed Findings (HKSAR Anniversary Surveys | HKSAR 10th Anniversary Feature Page) |

Special Announcement
 

As the 10th Anniversary of HKSAR is approaching, the Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong has set up a HKSAR 10th Anniversary feature page, which is a collection of survey results of various social issues over the past 10 years, in the "HKU POP SITE" (http://hkupop.hku.hk). It includes frequency tables, charts, commentaries and a chronology of significant events. All media and citizens are welcome to use the findings as reference.

Latest Figures
 

POP today releases on schedule via the POP SITE the latest survey results related to the handover anniversary. This press release not only includes the two questions which we have asked for a long time, i.e. "people's feeling of becoming a national citizen of China" and "people's evaluation of the policy of Central Government on Hong Kong", it also includes a questions on people's sentiment towards the handover anniversary, which we last used 5 years ago. We also added one question on people's appraisal of the last three top leaders of Hong Kong. These findings were collected from two separate surveys and 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 2006. Herewith the contact information for the latest survey:

 Date of survey  Overall sample size   Response rate   Sampling error of percentages*
 15-21/6/2007 (First survey)  1,006   65.2%   +/- 3% 
18-22/6/2007 (Second survey)  1,026   65.1%   +/- 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.

The survey results related to people's feeling of becoming a national citizen of China and people's evaluation of the policy of Central Government on Hong Kong are tabulated below:

  Date of survey  13-18/6/03   7-11/6/04   20-23/6/05   19-21/6/06   15-21/6/07   Latest change 
  Sample base  1,043   1,027   1,026   1,012   1,006   -- 
  Overall response rate  68.0%   66.9%   61.9%   58.2%   65.2%   -- 
  Sampling error of percentages (at 95% conf. level)*  +/- 3%   +/- 3%   +/- 3%   +/- 3%   +/-3%   -- 
  Finding for each question / Sampling error*  Finding   Finding   Finding   Finding   Finding   Error   -- 
  Being proud of becoming a national citizen of China  38%   39%   46%   47%   48%   +/-3%   +1% 
  Not being proud of becoming a national citizen of China  53%   53%   45%   51%   50%   +/-3%   -1% 
  Central Government's policy on HK: positive evaluations **  36%   25%   36%   56%   56%   +/-3%   -- 
  Central Government's policy on HK: negative evaluations **  24%   29%   15%   10%   10%   +/-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. Media can state "sampling error of percentages not more than +/-3% at 95% confidence level" when quoting the above figures.
** Collapsed from a 5-point scale. 

Results of the latest anniversary survey revealed that, 48% of the respondents were proud of becoming a national citizen of China after the handover, while 50% said they did not have any special feeling. As for the policy of the Central Government on Hong Kong after the handover, 56% of the respondents evaluated it positively, whereas 10% gave negative evaluations. 

Survey results regarding people's sentiment towards the handover is summarized below:

 
  Date of Survey  30/6/97   3-4/6/98   21/6/99   9-12/6/00   8-13/6/01   17-19/6/02   18-22/6/07   Latest Change 
  Sample base  544   555   526   1,103   1,074   1,010   1,026   -- 
  Overall response rate  77.4%   45.7%   51.9%   54.6%   72.5%   65.4%   65.1%   -- 
  Sampling error of percentages (at 95% conf. level)*  +/- 4%   +/- 4%   +/- 4%   +/- 3%   +/- 3%   +/-3%   +/-3%   -- 
  Finding for each question / Sampling error*  Finding   Finding   Finding   Finding   Finding   Finding   Finding   Error   -- 
  People's sentiment towards the handover: Positive words  35%   9%   8%   6%   8%   5%   32%   +/-3%   +27% **
  People's sentiment towards the handover: Negative words  9%   19%   21%   25%   25%   28%   4%   +/-1%   -24% **
  People's sentiment towards the handover: Ambivalent words  6%   7%   6%   3%   7%   5%   2%   +/-1%   -3% **
  People's sentiment towards the handover: Neutral words  48%   62%   64%   64%   58%   56%   62%   +/-3%   +6% **
* "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 +/-3% at 95% confidence level" when quoting the above figures.
**This question has stopped for years and the change is the difference in a comparison with the figures registered 5 years ago.
The survey revealed that 32% of the respondents used positive words to describe their feelings. Those who used negative words or ambivalent words accounted for 4% and 2% respectively. 62% expressed their feeling with neutral words.

People's appraisal of the last three top leaders in Hong Kong is tabulated as follows:
 
  Which of the following, Donald Tsang, Tung Chee-hwa or Chris Patten, do you think has performed best as a top leader of Hong Kong?
    Donald Tsang performed best   49%   Tung Chee-hwa performed best   4% 
    Chris Patten performed best   34%   Others   1% 
    Don't know/hard to say   11%   Total   100% 
* "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.
**For this question, the date of survey is 18-22/6/2007, the sample base is 1,026, the response rate is 65.1% while the sampling error of percentage is +/-3%.
Concerning people's appraisal of the last three top leaders of Hong Kong, 49% of the respondents said Donald Tsang was the best, while 34% chose Chris Patten. On the other hand, 4% regarded Tung Chee-hwa as the best leader.

Commentary

On the findings described above, Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, "Our surveys show that as the tenth anniversary of HKSAR draws near, people's positive appraisal of the Central Government's Hong Kong policies, and their pride in becoming a Chinese national citizen, have both reached record high since the handover. Such changes, however, occurred rapidly after CH Tung stepped down from his CE position. There is little change over the past. As for people's feeling towards the anniversary, the figures registered this year are more or less like those shortly before the handover in 1997. Because we have stopped using this question after the fifth anniversary, we can only guess that people's positive feeling about the handover must have co-varied with other indicators, meaning that people have turned positive after Tung has gone. As a matter of fact, when people were asked to review the performance of the past three leaders of Hong Kong, about half said Donald Tsang is the best, one third picked Chris Patten, less than one-twentieth picked CH Tung. This probably explains everything."

Because this is POP's last press release before HKSAR's tenth anniversary, Robert Chung deliberately made the following comments about Hong Kong people's sentiment in the past 10 years, "Looking back at the movement of various opinion indicators over the past ten years, we found that CH Tung's honeymoon period as Chief Executive only lasted less than half a year, after he official took office in July 1997. Every indicator dropped, and remained low until his first session ended. Had new faces appeared in 2002 among the leadership core, Hong Kong's development in the next five years might have been completely different. Unfortunately, upon the strong and explicit support of the Central Government, Tung retained his position without slight competition. Then, after a short pause, all opinion indicators plunged again. What happened in the middle of 2003 had severely eroded Hong Kong's stamina, it also made a lot of Hong Kong people doubt the wisdom of the Central Government in re-appointing CH Tung. Finally, in 2005, Tung was removed and replaced by Donald Tsang, who used to score well in popularity surveys. Soon after that, every opinion indicators rebounded. Shortly before the tenth anniversary, all indicators have basically recovered to their 1997 level. In a way, Hong Kong people have traveled a big circle, now back to where we began ten years ago. The difference is that ten years ago we were on a downward trend, now we are heading upward. Ten years ago, we did not have a solid ground, now that China is getting strong, and people are optimistic. If China continues to open up, if the Central Government trusts the wisdom of Hong Kong people more, to let them build Hong Kong into an international cosmopolitan, to become a bridge between China and the world in the political, economic and cultural spheres, then Hong Kong people will have much more to celebrate in another ten years."

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 July 3, 2007, Tuesday, between 1pm to 2pm, when the latest popularity figures of CE Donald Tsang and the HKSAR Government will be released. Then on July 5, 2007, Thursday, between 1pm to 2pm, POP will release the survey results of the suitability of designate Principle Officials.

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 <[email protected]>. 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 "About HKUPOP".

About HKUPOP

Mapping public opinion towards handover anniversaries

July 1, 1997 is an important date in Hong Kong's history. From the macroscopic perspective of opinion research, after the handover in 1997, July 1 each year has become a good time to summarize the development of public opinion. Therefore in 1997, POP started handover anniversary surveys which are conducted in June every year. The development of such survey is as follows:

  • For the first five years after the handover, HKUPOP's handover anniversary surveys generally included "People's feelings about the handover anniversary", "People's ethnic identity before and after the handover", "Overall evaluation of Hong Kong's condition after the handover", "People's evaluation of changes before and after the handover", People's feelings about the central government" and "People's evaluation of the policy of the central government on Hong Kong after the handover".

  • After 5 years, public mood has pacified, POP has therefore gradually reduced the number of survey items to two, namely, "people's ethnic identity before and after the handover" and "people's evaluation of the policy of the central government on Hong Kong after the handover". This year, "people's sentiment towards the 10th anniversary handover" is resumed while "people's appraisal of top leaders of Hong Kong" is covered for the first time other than the above two questions. The wordings used in the questionnaire are "Are you proud of formally becoming a national citizen of China after the 1997 Handover?", "How would you evaluate the policy of the Central Government on Hong Kong after the Handover?", "Hong Kong has returned to China for about X years. How do you feel right now?" and "Which of the following, Donald Tsang, Tung Chee-hwa or Chris Patten, do you think had performed the best as a top leader of Hong Kong?".

  • Regarding sample size, from the beginning to 1999, the sample size of the survey was set at slightly over 500. From 2000 onwards, it was increased to at least 1,000.

  • Our findings of handover anniversary survey in 1999 or before were published in our newsletter POP Express. After our HKU POP Site was established in June 2000, the survey findings were released online. All previous findings published in our POP Express were also uploaded on-line in various formats.

| Special Announcement | Latest Figures | Commentary | News about POP | About HKUPOP |
| Detailed Findings (HKSAR Anniversary Surveys | HKSAR 10th Anniversary Feature Page) |