HKU POP SITE releases the latest figures on the popularity of SAR and Centra Governments, and people's confidence in the futureBack


Press Release on August 21, 2007
 

| Special Announcement | Latest Figures | Opinion Daily | Commentary | News about POP | About HKUPOP |
| Detailed Findings (People's Trust in the HKSAR Government / People's Trust in the Beijing Central Government / People's Confidence in HK's Future / People's Confidence in China's Future / People's Confidence in "One Country, Two Systems") |

Special Announcement
 

Since January 2007, the Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong has launched a feature page called "Opinion Daily" at the "HKU POP SITE" (http://hkupop.hku.hk). It records significant events on a daily basis, as well as provides certain opinion poll figures on those separate days. Our purpose is to provide accurate information for readers to judge by themselves the reasons for the ups and downs of opinion figures. "Opinion Daily" began to operate on January 17, 2007. At the beginning, it only recorded significant events and the popularity figures of the Chief Executive for the previous few months. As of today, it gives a chronology of events back from July 1, 2006, and many other poll figures since January 1, 2006, and its content is ever increasing.

In July 2007, POP collaborated with Wisers Information Limited whereby Wisers supplies to POP since July 24 on a daily basis a record of significant events of the day, according to a research method designed by POP. These daily entries would be uploaded to the "Opinion Daily" feature page as soon as they are verified by POP, in order to provide readers with swifter and more accurate information.

Starting today, other than reading the chronology of significant events, readers can also check on the results of 9 different polling items compiled by POP, including the popularity of the Chief Executive, the HKSAR government, and the Secretaries of Departments under the accountability system. In near future, "Opinion Daily" will be regularly updated and expanded in order to promote the science of opinion polling.

Besides, since mid-August 2007, in POP's regular press releases, we have listed some of the more significant events which happened in between two surveys for readers to make their own judgment whether these events have any effect on polling figure changes.

Latest Figures
 

POP today releases on schedule via the POP Site the latest findings on people's trust in the HKSAR and Beijing Central Governments, their confidence in Hong Kong's future, China's future and "one country, two systems". 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 in mid-2007. Herewith the contact information for the latest survey:

 Date of survey  Overall sample size   Response rate   Sampling error of percentages*
13-16/8/07  1,008   67.1%   +/- 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.

Recent popularity figures of SAR and Central Governments, and people's confidence in the future are summarized below:

  Date of survey  6-12/12/06   12-14/2/07   17-20/4/07   8-12/6/07   13-16/8/07   Latest Change 
  Sample base  1,011   1,013   1,011   1,016   1,008   -- 
  Overall response rate  60.4%   63.5%   62.7%   69.5%   67.1%   -- 
  Sampling error of percentages
(at 95% confidence level)*
 +/-3%   +/-3%   +/-3%   +/-3%   +/-3%   -- 
  Finding for each question / Sampling error*  Finding   Finding   Finding   Finding   Finding   Error   -- 
  Trust in HKSAR Government**  44%   50%   63%   59%   65%   +/-3%   +6% 
  Distrust in HKSAR Government**  13%   9%   8%   5%   6%   +/-2%   +1% 
  Trust in Beijing Government**  40%   41%   58%   50%   56%   +/-3%   +6% 
  Distrust in Beijing Government**  21%   18%   13%   15%   15%   +/-2%   -- 
  Confidence in HK's future  73%   75%   81%   80%   79%   +/-3%   -1% 
  No-confidence in HK's future  22%   19%   13%   14%   14%   +/-2%   -- 
  Confidence in China's future  87%   86%   89%   87%   87%   +/-2%   -- 
  No-confidence in China's future  10%   10%   7%   8%   8%   +/-2%   -- 
  Confidence in "one country, two systems"  70%   68%   78%   73%   77%   +/-3%   +4% 
  No-confidence in "one country, two systems"  26%   25%   18%   20%   17%   +/-2%   -3% 

* "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.

Survey conducted in mid-August revealed that 65% of the respondents trusted the HKSAR Government, and 56% trusted the Beijing Central Government. On the other hand, 79% of the respondents had confidence in Hong Kong's future and 87% had confidence in China's future, while 77% of the respondents were confident in "one country, two systems".

Opinion Daily
 

The previous opinion survey on the polling items covered in this press release was conducted from June 8-12, 2007 while the latest survey was conducted from August 13-16, 2007. In between these two surveys, herewith some of the more significant events selected from counting newspaper headlines and commentaries on a daily basis, covered by at least 25% of the local newspaper articles. Readers can either make their own judgment whether these events have any impact on the polling figures, or reserve their judgment after reviewing all the significant events listed in our "Opinion Daily".

  15/8/2007  Asian markets were hit by the US subprime crisis 
  11/8/2007  Metal workers on strike for a fourth day brings traffic in Hong Kong's central business district to a standstill  
  10/8/2007  Central banks' liquidity injections to ease the US subprime mortgage problems  
  2/8/2007  A new express rail linking Hong Kong with Guangzhou via Shenzhen will be built as a dedicated track, reducing the traveling time.  
  1/8/2007  1) Hong Kong police evict protesters from Queen's Pier 
 2) Global stock market plummets 
  31/7/2007  The Queen's Pier protesters flocked to the Pier preparing for a showdown with the government as the deadline for clearing the site passed.  
  29/7/2007  Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor attended the forum for Queen's Pier  
  27/7/2007  Ripple effect from subprime and weak housing triggers global stock market sell-off; Hang Seng Index plummeted 641 points  
  23/7/2007  China Development Bank has bought stock of Barclays Bank to help fund its takeover bid for ABN Amro.  
  20/7/2007  Government sets measures to end pork supply monopoly.  
  19/7/2007  11.9% China's GDP growth reaches 11.9%  
  13/7/2007  Hang Seng Index breaks 23,000  
  11/7/2007  Gov't published Green Paper on Constitutional Development for public consultation  
  4/7/2007  Pig shortage most probably puts up the price  
  29/6/2007  President Hu Jintao visits HK for 3 days.  
  26/6/2007  RMB bonds for sale tomorrow  
  23/6/2007  New SARG officals under accountability system meet the media.  
  20/6/2007  Fanny Law quits as the report on HKIEd incident discloses.  
  18/6/2007  1) Records set for HK stock market 
 2) Many newspapers comment on the widening of wealth gap.  
  12/6/2007  Government urges investigation on cable car accident.  
  11/6/2007  Cable car plunges in Tung Chung  


Commentary


Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, "Compared to two months ago, people's trust in the local and central governments have both rebounded 6 percentage points, while people's confidence in one country two systems has rebounded 4 percentage points. All three now stand at about the same level registered four months ago, or before Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, spoke on the limits of Hong Kong's autonomy. In between the last two surveys, Hong Kong celebrated our tenth handover anniversary, while President Hu Jintao paid a visit to Hong Kong. These might have improved Hong Kong people's trust in the central government. As for people's confidence in the future of China and Hong Kong, there is not much change in recent months, in spite of records in our "Opinion Daily" showing significant ups and downs in the local and global stock markets in the past two months. One possible explanation is that these ups and downs have cancelled out each other, so that they are not shown in our bi-monthly tracking surveys. Readers can make their own judgment after reading through our detailed records in "Opinion Daily" to decide whether this is in fact the case or not." 

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 23, 2007, Thursday, between 1pm to 2pm, when the latest ratings of the top 10 political groups will be released. Then, on August 28, 2007, Tuesday, between 1pm to 2pm, POP will release the latest popularity figures of CE Donald Tsang and the HKSAR Government.

It is our general practice 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.

Since January 2006, we have included in our regular press releases a small educational section for the purpose of sharing our research experience with the readers and the general public, and the subject of our education section today is "About HKUPOP".

About HKUPOP

Mapping people's trust and satisfaction with different governments, and people's confidence in the future as well as "one country, two systems"

One important aspect of opinion polling around the world is to monitor people's trust and satisfaction of the government. Shortly after HKUPOP was established, we started to conduct surveys on these aspects. Regarding the development of the surveys, we have explained it in our press release of August 22, November 7 and 28, December 14, 2006, February 21, April 26 as well as June 14, 2007. Today, we post it again to give readers a more comprehensive picture of such developments.

(1) Mapping people's trust in different governments

  • Due to Hong Kong's very special political status, before the handover in 1997, our survey covered people's trust in the British Hong Kong, British, Chinese, and Taiwan Governments. After the handover, the survey method remained unchanged, but the term British Hong Kong Government was substituted by the HKSAR Government, and Chinese Government was substituted by Central Government, while our survey on people's trust in the British Government stopped.

  • Our surveys began in December 1992, the wordings used in the questionnaire being "On the whole, do you trust such and such government?". Surveys were conducted once every month, until October 1997 when it was changed to once every two months. It has remained unchanged since then.

  • Before May 2000, the sample size of our regular surveys was set slightly over 500. After that, it was then increased to at least 1,000.

(2) Mapping people's satisfaction with the government

  • In December 1992, we started to survey people's trust in the British Hong Kong, British, Chinese, and Taiwan Governments. These surveys continued after the handover, but we expanded their scope by introducing people's satisfaction with the HKSAR Government. We take measurements as frequently as we could, using our limited resources. Besides people's general satisfaction with the HKSAR Government, our survey also includes indicators on the government's performance in maintaining economic prosperity, improving people's livelihood, pace of democratic development, and so on.

  • Our surveys on people's satisfaction with the HKSAR Government in general began in July 1997. Since then, it has been conducted once every month. The wordings used in the questionnaire being "Are you satisfied with the overall performance of the HKSAR Government?"

  • Before May 2000, the sample size of our regular surveys was set slightly over 500. After that, it was then increased to at least 1,000.

(3) Mapping people's confidence in the future and "one country, two systems"

  • In December 1992, our survey series on people's confidence started. With respect to people's confidence in Hong Kong, the wordings used in the questionnaire being "Do you have confidence in HK's future?". Surveys were conducted once every month, until April 1998 when it was changed to once every two months. It has remained unchanged since then.

  • As for people's confidence in China's future, the frequency was not quite stable at the beginning. Beginning in July 1997, the wordings used in the questionnaire being "Do you have confidence in China's future?". Surveys were conducted once every month at the beginning, but between January 1998 and July 2001, only 5 surveys were conducted on an irregular basis. Then, in August 2001, the survey began its regular course of development, and has been conducted once every two months since then.

  • As for people's confidence in "one country, two systems", the survey started in June 1993. The wordings used in the questionnaire being "On the whole, do you have confidence in 'one country, two systems?". Surveys were conducted once every two months, until May 1995 when it was changed to once every month, but were later on changed to once every two months since February 1998. It has remained unchanged since then.

  • Regarding the sample size, from the beginning to June 2000, the sample size of "people's confidence in HK's future "one country, two systems" survey was set at slightly over 500, while starting from May 2000, it was increased to at least 1,000. As for "people's confidence in China's future, since July 2001, the sample size has been changed from slightly over 500 to at least 1,000.

The above findings have all been published regularly on-line via our HKU POP Site, while all the previous findings published via our newsletter POP Express have also been uploaded in various formats.


| Special Announcement | Latest Figures | Opinion Daily | Commentary | News about POP | About HKUPOP |
| Detailed Findings (People's Trust in the HKSAR Government / People's Trust in the Beijing Central Government / People's Confidence in HK's Future / People's Confidence in China's Future / People's Confidence in "One Country, Two Systems") |