HKU POP SITE releases the latest ratings of the top 10 political groupsBack

Press Release on August 23, 2007

| Special Announcement | Latest Figures | Opinion Daily | Commentary | News about POP | About HKUPOP |
| Detailed Findings (Rating of Top Ten Political Groups) |

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" ( 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 ratings of the top 10 political groups. As a general practice, all the 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/ratings*
(First stage naming survey)
 1,013   63.8%   +/- 3% 
(Second stage rating survey)
 1,008   67.1%   +/- 2.0 
* 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 research design of our "Top ten political groups" has been explained in detail under "Survey Method" in our corresponding web page. The top political groups listed in our latest survey were all those who obtained highest unprompted mentions in our first stage naming survey conducted from August 6-10, 2007. In that survey, respondents could name, unaided, up to 10 political groups whom they knew best. Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB), Democratic Party (DP), Liberal Party (LP), Civic Party (CP) and The Frontier were mentioned most frequently. Please refer to the relevant table in our website for the rest of the list. The 12 most frequently mentioned political groups then entered into the second stage rating survey. During that second stage survey conducted from August 13-16, respondents were asked to rate each political group in turn using a 0-100 scale. 0 indicates absolutely no support, 100 indicates absolute support, and 50 means half-half. After calculation, the bottom 2 political groups in terms of recognition rate were dropped, leaving behind the top 10. In case any group failed to reach the 50% benchmark recognition rate, it would also be dropped. It should, however, be noted that because political groups are not yet legal entities in Hong Kong, such definitions are rather vague, and so-called political groups are constantly evolving. As a result, strange names may appear in the list of groups mentioned by respondents in Stage One surveys. In order to avoid personal bias, our research team will eliminate groups which fall outside the popular definition only after the first stage of the survey. To facilitate readers follow our research process step by step, the POP Site has already displayed the results of all naming surveys conducted since July 1998. The latest ratings of the top 10 political groups, together with the previous ratings, are summarized below:

  Date of survey  20-24/11/06   12-14/2/07   16-25/5/07   13-16/8/2007   Latest change 
  Sample base  1,012   1,013   1,008   1,008   -- 
  Overall response rate  58.8%   63.5%   61.1%   67.1%   -- 
  Sampling error of ratings
(at 95% confidence level)*
 +/-1.6   +/-2.0   +/-2.0   +/-2.0   -- 
  Finding /Sampling error*  Finding   Finding   Finding   Finding   Sampling error   Recognition rate   -- 
  FTU  53.2 [1]   51.3 [3]   53.5[1]   55.0 [1]   +/-1.4   80.1%   +1.5 
  DAB  49.2 [6]   48.3 [6]   49.6[7]   54.8 [2]   +/-1.4   84.3%   +5.2 
  LP  49.1 [7]   48.0 [7]   51.2[4]   52.3 [3]   +/-1.2   80.0%   +1.1 
  Civic Party  51.9 [2]   51.5 [1]   51.7[2]   50.7 [4]   +/-1.6   67.4%   -1.0 
  ADPL  50.0 [5]   49.3 [5]   51.3[3]   50.2 [5]   +/-1.4   65.3%   -1.1 
  HKCTU  51.5 [4]   51.4 [2]   50.4[5]   50.0 [6]   +/-1.4   72.5%   -0.4 
  DP  48.4 [8]   50.0 [4]   49.8[6]   48.0 [7]   +/-1.4   85.9%   -1.8 
  Frontier  47.3 [9]   45.5 [8]   46.1[9]   45.4 [8]   +/-1.6   71.6%   -0.7 
  HKASPDMC  --   44.5 [9]   46.9[8]   44.1 [9]   +/-1.6   71.8%   -2.8 
  AFA  36.9 [10]   34.7 [10]   35.7[10]   34.3 [10]   +/-1.6   71.8%   -1.4 
  NWS  51.6 [3]   50.4 [**]   50.4[**]   48.9[**]   +/-1.6   56.1%   -1.5 
  LSD  --   45.0[**]   --   44.8[**]   +/-2.0   42.3%   -- 

* "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 various ratings not more than +/-2.0 at 95% confidence level" when quoting figures of the top 10.
** Ratings with recognition rates not reaching top 10 in either stage of survey are not available.
[ ] Number in square brackets indicates rankings, which may need to be determined by the next decimal place of the ratings.

Findings obtained in mid-August showed that, the best-known political group was The Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (FTU) which attained 55.0 marks. Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB), Liberal Party (LP), Civic Party (CP), Hong Kong Association for Democracy, People's Livelihood (ADPL) and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) ranked 2nd to 6th, achieving 54.8, 52.3, 50.7, 50.2 and 50.0 marks respectively. Meanwhile, the 7th to 10th ranks fell to Democratic Party (DP), Frontier, Hong Kong Alliance In Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China (HKASPDMC) and April Fifth Action (AFA), with respective scores of 48.0, 45.4, 44.1 and 34.3 marks. The mean score obtained by the top 5 political groups was 52.6 marks. For this latest survey, Neighbourhood and Worker's Service Centre (NWS) and League of Social Democrats (LSD) obtained a support rating of 48.9 and 44.8 marks respectively, but they were dropped due to their relatively low recognition rates. The overall ratings ranked according to results obtained over the past 12 calendar months are tabulated as follows:

  Date of survey  20-24/11/06   12-14/2/07   16-25/5/07   13-16/8/2007   No. of times on top 10   Average rating*   Overall ranking** 
  FTU  53.2   51.3   53.5   55.0   4   53.2   1 
  CP  51.9   51.5   51.7   50.7   4   51.5   2 
  HKCTU  51.5   51.4   50.4   50.0   4   50.8   3 
  DAB  49.2   48.3   49.6   54.8   4   50.5   4 
  ADPL  50.0   49.3   51.3   50.2   4   50.2   5 
  LP  49.1   48.0   51.2   52.3   4   50.1   6 
  DP  48.4   50.0   49.8   48.0   4   49.0   7 
  Frontier  47.3   45.5   46.1   45.4   4   46.1   8 
  AFA  36.9   34.7   35.7   34.3   4   35.4   9 
  HKASPDMC  ^   44.5   46.9   44.1   3   45.1   10 
  NWS  51.6   ^   ^   ^   1   51.6   11 

* "Average rating" is the average of all ratings obtained by political groups over the past 12 months.
** "Overall ranking" is first determined by their number of times on top 10, and then their average ratings. 
^ Ratings with recognition rates not reaching top 5 in either stage of survey are not available.

The overall rankings in the past 12 months showed that, the top 9 political groups were all listed for four times. FTU was in the top rank, achieving an average rating of 53.2 marks. CP, HKCTU, DAB, ADPL and LP ranked 2nd to 6th, attaining 51.5, 50.8, 50.5, 50.2 and 50.1 marks respectively. Meanwhile, the 7th to 9th ranks fell to DP, Frontier and AFA with respective scores of, 49.0, 46.1 and 35.4. HKASPDMC was listed for three times and ranked 10th, attaining 45.1 marks. NWS was listed for one time and ranked 11th.

Opinion Daily

For most of the polling items covered in this press release, the previous survey was conducted from May 16-25, 2007 while this survey was conducted from August 13-16, 2007. In between these two surveys, herewith the significant events selected from counting newspaper headlines and commentaries on a daily basis and covered by at least 25% of the local newspaper articles. Readers can make their own judgment if these significant events have any impacts to different polling figures.

  11/8/2007  Metal workers on strike for a fourth day brings traffic in Hong Kong's central business district to a standstill  
  9/8/2007  The Chairperson of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, Ma Lik, dies of colon cancer at 55
  1/8/2007  Hong Kong police evict protesters from Queen's Pier
  29/7/2007  Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor attended the forum for Queen's Pier  
  11/7/2007  Gov't published Green Paper on Constitutional Development for public consultation  
  29/6/2007  President Hu Jintao visits HK for 3 days.  
  23/6/2007  New SARG officals under accountability system meet the media.  
  18/6/2007  Many newspapers comment on the widening of wealth gap.  
  6/6/2007  Wu: Hong Kong's autonomy laid down by Beijing


Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, "A new change has occurred in our latest 'Top 10 Political Groups' survey. The support rating of DAB has surged 5.2 points to reach its new high since May 2002. In terms of ranking, it has jumped 5 positions to reach the 2nd place, just after the reigning champion FTU. Compared to 3 months ago, both DAB and FTU have recorded significant lifts in their ratings, while HKASPDMC and DP recorded significant drops. Regarding events which happened in between our last two surveys, readers can make their own judgment after reading through our detailed records in 'Opinion Daily' to decide which event has affected which political groups. However, in terms of political group development, the passing away of DAB's late Chairman Ma Lik is definitely an important event, which should have moved many people. It should be noted, however, that our 'Top 10 Political Groups' only include groups which are best known to the public, ranked according to their support ratings. Other political groups may well have very high or low support ratings, but because they are relatively less well-known, they have not been included in our final list." 

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 28, 2007, Tuesday, between 1pm to 2pm, when the latest popularity figures of CE Donald Tsang and the HKSAR Government will be released. 

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.

For the whole of last year, 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". In the near future, we will keep on stepping up our effort in promoting general civic education to enhance our POP Site accordingly.


Rating and ranking political groups

The rating and ranking of local political groups were among the earliest surveys conducted by HKUPOP. Our first exercise was conducted in July 1991, shortly after our establishment in June 1991. We have explained the development of these surveys in our press releases of August 24, 2006, February 27 as well as June 5, 2007. Today, we release it again, so that readers can have a more comprehensive picture of such development.

Elsewhere in the world, it is very natural to monitor the performance of political parties by means of public opinion polling. However, here in Hong Kong, political parties were not, and are not, legal entities. People use vague definitions, and the so-called political groups are constantly evolving. As a result, it would be rather difficult to define political parties in a scientific or legal way. There are apparently three ways to solve this problem. First, let it be defined by the organizations themselves, meaning that those and only those who claimed themselves to be political parties would be treated as political parties. Second, let it be defined by the people, that those considered by the general public as parties would be treated as parties. Third, to avoid the problem by adopting the wider definition of political groups, instead of political parties, when conducting studies.

The surveys on political groups started by HKUPOP basically combine the second and third methods mentioned above. We first screen out the best known political groups recognized by the public, then rate each of them, and then rank them. We first branded our findings as "top 5 political groups" and then as "top 10 political groups" in order to keep pace with Hong Kong's political development. Herewith the details of such surveys: 

  • Between July 1991 and November 1992, our surveys of political groups were conducted on an ad hoc basis. However, we have only consolidated our research design, which comprises separate naming and rating surveys in two stages, from November 1992 onwards. 

  • In the naming stage, the wordings used in the questionnaire are "Please name up to a certain number of political groups that you are most familiar with." and multiple responses are allowed. In the rating stage, the question used is "Please use a scale of 0-100 to rate your extent of support to a certain group, with 0 indicating absolutely not supportive, 100 indicating absolutely supportive and 50 indicating half-half. How would you rate this group?" 

  • Starting from March 1993, the surveys were conducted once every two months but in November 2000, its frequency was changed to once every three months. It has remained unchanged since then. 

  • Since June 1999, the branding "top 5 political groups" was also changed to "top 10 political groups" which is still being used today. 

  • Regarding sample size, between July 1991 and April 2000, the sample size of all naming and rating surveys was set at slightly over 500. From May 2000 onwards, it was increased to at least 1,000. 

  • Our first findings of our political group surveys were published in the East Week, which was a magazine on political and economic affairs then. We later published our findings by fax. Then in 1996, HKUPOP published our newsletter POP Express, which naturally carried our findings on this topic. After our HKU POP Site was established in June 2000, we switched to an on-line mode of release after November that year, while all previous findings published in our POP Express were also uploaded on-line in various formats.

| Special Announcement | Latest Figures | Opinion Daily | Commentary | News about POP | About HKUPOP |
| Detailed Findings (Rating of Top Ten Political Groups) |