HKU POP SITE releases findings of the second round District Council election surveyBack


Press Release on October 26, 2007
 

| Special Announcement | Latest Figures | Commentary | News about POP | About HKUPOP |
| Detailed Findings (Second Survey on the 2007 District Councils Election) |

Special Announcement
 

(1) With effective from 22 October 2007, the Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong has been relocated from Meng Wah Complex at the University of Hong Kong to 5/F, Kennedy Town Centre, 23 Belcher's Road, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong. The general line is changed to 3921-2700. The fax number, email address and website address remain unchanged.

(2) POP will soon begin to conduct daily rolling polls on the Legislative Council by-election, findings of which will be released to sponsors for exclusive use for at least 48 hours, before they are uploaded onto the "HKU POP SITE" (http://hkupop.hku.hk) for public consumption. Organizations wishing to join the sponsorship of these surveys are welcome to contact Miss Chau or Miss Pang at 3921-2700. 

Latest Figures
 

POP today releases on schedule via the "HKU POP SITE" (http://hkupop.hku.hk) the findings of the second round District Council election survey. 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* 
 22-25/10/2007   1,016   67.4%   +/- 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.
 

Whenever there are large-scale elections, POP would conduct regular surveys to track opinion changes. On election days, POP would also conduct exit polls to study voter behaviour and motivation. As District Council election draws near, the research team has conducted the first round of pre-election telephone surveys in mid-September and released the findings some time ago. Released herewith are the findings of the second round of pre-election telephone surveys, details of which are released today in POP Site. Major findings are summarized below, together with parallel figures obtained in the last two District Council elections of 1999 and 2003: 

 
Date of survey
15-17/9/99
26-27/10/99
15-17/9/03
19-22/10/03
17-21/9/07
22-25/10/07
cf 1st survey 2007
cf similar survey 2003
Sample base
536
535
1,030
1,017
1,008
1,016
--
--
Overall response rate
47.9%
46.7%
70.1%
60.0%
65.5%
67.4%
--
--
Maximum sampling error of percentages (at 95% conf. level)*
+/-4%
+/-4%
+/-3%
+/-3%
+/-3%
+/-3%
--
--
Finding for each question/ Sampling error*
Finding
Finding
Finding
Finding
Finding
Finding
Sampling error
--
--
Awareness level of the election
35%
72%
19%
60%
17%
61%
+/-3%
+44%
+1%
Critical consideration: stand on livelihood issues
78%
82%
77%
79%
84%
82%
+/-2%
-2%
+3%
Critical consideration: political alignment
6%
7%
10%
11%
11%
11%
+/-2%
--
--
Main factor: past performance
42%
44%
38%
40%
41%
42%
+/-3%
+1%
+2%
Main factor: platform
24%
26%
35%
26%
31%
32%
+/-3%
+1%
+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.
 

Around one month before this year's election, 61% of the respondents were aware of the coming District Council election in November, representing 1 percentage point higher than the corresponding figure of 2003. Results also showed that if the respondents were to vote, 82% would choose a candidate according to that person's stand on livelihood issues, 11% said the candidate's political alignment would be decisive. The former increased by 3 percentage points while the latter remained unchanged when compared to the same time in 2003. As for specific factors, 42% and 32% respectively considered a candidate's past performance and political platform to be most important. When compared to parallel findings in 2003, the former has increased by 2 percentage points while the latter has increased by 6 percentage points.

 
Date of survey
15-17/9/03
19-22/10/03
17-21/9/07
22-25/10/07
cf 1st survey 2007
cf similar survey 2003
Sample base
1,030
1,017
1,008
1,016
--
--
Overall response rate
70.1%
60.0%
65.5%
67.4%
--
--
Maximum sampling error of percentages (at 95% conf. level)*
+/-3%
+/-3%
+/-3%
+/-3%
--
--
Finding for each question/Sampling error*
Finding
Finding
Finding
Finding
Sampling error
--
--
Prefer voting for an individual candidate
65%
65%
77%
73%
+/-3%
-4%
+8%
Prefer voting for a political party
17%
18%
14%
16%
+/-2%
+2%
-2%
Inclined to support the democrats
24%
29%
29%
29%
+/-3%
--
--
Inclined to support the Pro-China camp
5%
4%
9%
10%
+/-2%
+1%
+6%
Considered themselves to be moderate or non-partisan
66%#
61%
60%
58%
+/-3%
-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.
# Erratum: The percentage of people who considered themselves to be moderate or non-partisan should be 66% instead of 67% as reported in the release of first round District Council election survey of 2007.
 

Given a free choice, 73% of the respondents would prefer voting for an individual candidate, 16% would prefer voting for a political party. The former figure represents an increase of 8 percentage-points compared to 2003, while the latter represents a drop of 2 percentage-points. Among all respondents, 29% said they would support the democrats, which was same as the figure registered in the same time of 2003. Another 10% would support the Pro-China camp while 58% considered themselves to be moderate or non-partisan. The former represents an increase of 6 percentage-points compared to the same time in 2003, while the last figure represents a drop of 3 percentage-points.

 
Date of survey
15-17/9/99
26-27/10/99
15-17/9/03
19-22/10/03
17-21/9/07
22-25/10/07
cf 1st survey 2007
cf similar survey 2003
Sub-sample base (registered voters)
366
384
714
725
761
801
--
--
Overall response rate
47.9%
46.7%
70.1%
60.0%
65.5%
67.4%
--
--
Maximum sampling error of percentages (at 95% conf. level)*
+/-5%
+/-5%
+/-4%
+/-4%
+/-4%
+/-4%
--
--
Finding for each question/Sampling error*
Finding
Finding
Finding
Finding
Finding
Finding
Sampling error
--
--
Proportion of voters who planned to vote in DC Election
69%
70%
67%
70%
75%
73%
+/-3%
-2%
+3%
First problem to be tackled: livelihood
40%
37%
42%
43%
54%
47%
+/-4%
-7%
+4%
First problem to be tackled: local district problems
23%
25%
20%
21%
25%
33%
+/-3%
+8%
+12%
First problem to be tackled: economy
7%
14%
17%
14%
6%
7%
+/-2%
+1%
-7%
First problem to be tackled: employment/labour
7%
6%
10%
9%
4%
3%
+/-1%
-1%
-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 +/-4% at 95% confidence level" when quoting the above figures.
 

Among the sub-sample of registered voters, 73% said they intended to vote, which is 3 percentage points higher than that recorded around the same time in 2003. (However, please note that 73% intention to vote may not convert into 73% turnout). Moreover, 47% of the registered voters said the newly elected District Councillors should first tackle livelihood problems, 33% chose local district problems and 7% and 3% opted for economic problems and employment/labour issues respectively.

 
Date of survey
19-22/10/03
22-25/10/07
cf similar survey 2003
Sample base
1,017
1,016
--
Overall response rate
60.0%
67.4%
--
Maximum sampling error of percentages (at 95% conf. level)*
+/-3%
+/-3%
--
Finding for each question/Sampling error*
Finding
Finding
Sampling error
--
Awareness level of the appointment system of DC
29%
31%
+/-3%
+2%
Agree to the idea of appointed members in DC
27%
30%
+/-3%
+3%
Disagree to the idea of appointed members in DC
44%
46%
+/-3%
+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.
 

Finally, the survey found that only 31% of the respondents could correctly point out there were appointed members in the District Council. When prompted, 46% opposed to the idea of appointed members, whereas 30% agreed.

 


Commentary


Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, explained, "Our latest survey shows that, using people's awareness of the election as an indicator, people's knowledge of the forthcoming District Council election has shot up 44 percentage points over the past month, just like in 2003. Compared to the last election around the same time, significantly more people prefer voting for individual candidates rather than for political parties, and significantly more people identify themselves as Pro-China camp supporters. Where registered voters are concerned, although general livelihood issues remain to be the top priority to be tackled by District Councillors, the importance of local district problems has significantly increased in our latest survey. There is not much change in other figures. Most people still consider candidates' stand on livelihood issues to be their critical consideration, and more people disagree to the continued existence of appointed members in District Council. As for voters' propensity to vote, our current figure is still higher than that recorded in 2003 around the same time."

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 October 30, 2007, Tuesday, between 1pm and 2pm, when the latest popularity figures of CE Donald Tsang and the HKSAR Government will be released. Then on November 1, 2007, Thursday, between 1pm and 2pm, POP will release the latest ratings of the top 10 legislative councilors.

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

Second round District Council election survey

Whenever there are large-scale elections, HKUPOP will conduct various surveys to track opinion changes. The research team will also conduct exit polls on election day to study voter behaviour and motivation. Since the handover, the research team has conducted different surveys for District Council elections (1999, 2003 and 2007), including pre-election surveys, exit polls and so on. The development of the second round District Council election survey is as follows:

  • The "second round District Council election survey" is conducted one month before the District Council election. Because District Council election is usually held in November every four years, the "second round District Council election survey" is therefore conducted in mid-October in District Council election year.

  • Questions asked in "second round District Council election" are all adapted from the first round survey and the question wordings used are, "Do you know there is an election this year?", "Are you a registered voter?", "Do you plan to vote in the District Council election this November?", "If you were given a choice, would you prefer to vote for a candidate or for a political party?", "Which political camp do you incline to identify yourself with?", "What is your main consideration in selecting a candidate?", "Which problem do you think the new District Council members need to tackle first?" and "What would be your critical consideration when you vote? The political alignment of the candidates or their stand on livelihood issues?". Since October 2003, two more questions related to the appointment system of District Council have been added in the second round survey. The question wordings used in the questionnaire are, "Do you know there is any appointed member(s) in the coming District Council?" and "Do you agree there should be appointed members in the District Council?".

  • Before October 2003, the sample size of the "second round District Council election survey" was set at slightly over 500. After that, it was then increased to at least 1,000 and the above survey is no exception. The survey findings of 2003 District Council election have been released via HKU POP Site.

| Special Announcement | Latest Figures | Commentary | News about POP | About HKUPOP |
| Detailed Findings (Second Survey on the 2007 District Councils Election) |