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


Press Release on November 12, 2007
 

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

Special Announcement
 

(1) Sponsored by a number of media organizations, the Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong began its rolling poll on the Legislative Council by-election for the Hong Kong Island Geographical Constituency immediately after the close of nominations on October 31. The methodology is the same as its previous rolling polls conducted every day. According to sponsorship terms, findings are first released immediately to sponsors for exclusive use, and then uploaded onto the "HKU POP SITE" (http://hkupop.hku.hk) for public consumption after no less than 48 hours. Our first round's rolling poll frequency and cross-tabulation analyses have already been uploaded online on November 9 and 10.

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

Latest Figures
 

POP today releases on schedule via the "HKU POP SITE" (http://hkupop.hku.hk) the findings of the third 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* 
 5-9/11/2007   1,009   66.3%   +/- 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 Elections draw near, the research team conducted the first and second rounds of pre-election telephone surveys in mid-September and late October respectively, and released the findings some time ago. Released herewith are the findings of the third 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: 

 

 

1999*

2003

2007

 

 

Date of survey

18-19/11

15-17/9

19-22/10

3-6/11

17-21/9

22-25/10

5-9/11

cf 2nd survey 2007

cf similar survey 2003

Sample base

1,045

1,030

1,017

1,001

1,008

1,016

1,009

--
--

Overall response rate

49.1%

70.1%

60.0%

60.7%

65.5%

67.4%

66.3%

--

--

Maximum sampling error of percentages (at 95% conf. level)**

+/-3%

+/-3%

+/-3%

+/-3%

+/-3%

+/-3%

+/-3%

--

--

Finding for each question/ Sampling error**

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Sampling error

--

--

Main factor: past performance

41%

38%

40%

42%

41%

42%

47%

+/-3%

+5%

+5%

Main factor: platform

26%

35%

26%

26%

31%

32%

29%

+/-3%

-3%

+3%

Critical consideration: stand on livelihood issues

76%

77%

79%

77%

84%

82%

84%

+/-2%

+2%

+7%

Critical consideration: political alignment

9%

10%

11%

12%

11%

11%

10%

+/-2%

-1%

-2%

First problem to be tackled: livelihood

42%

40%

40%

34%

49%

48%

48%

+/-3%

--

+14%

First problem to be tackled: local district problems

30%

18%

18%

25%

22%

30%

39%

+/-3%

+9%

+14%

First problem to be tackled: economy

11%

18%

17%

13%

7%

7%

3%

+/-1%

-4%

-10%

First problem to be tackled: employment/labour

6%

10%

10%

11%

6%

3%

2%

+/-1%

-1%

-9%

* Due to page limitation, the figures of third round of 1999 survey are listed only. For figures of the first two rounds of 1999 survey, please refer to the POP Site. 
** "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.
 

One to two weeks before this year's election, results showed that 47% and 29% respectively considered a candidate's past performance and political platform to be most important. If the respondents were to vote, 84% would choose a candidate according to that person's stand on livelihood issues, 10% said the candidate's political alignment would be decisive. Moreover, 48% said the newly elected District Councillors should first tackle livelihood problems, 39% chose local district problems and 3% and 2% opted for economic problems and employment/labour issues respectively.

 

 

1999*

2003

2007

 

 

Date of survey

18-19/11

15-17/9

19-22/10

3-6/11

17-21/9

22-25/10

5-9/11

cf 2nd survey 2007

cf similar survey 2003

Sub-sample base (registered voters)

728

714

725

721

761

801

859

--
--

Overall response rate

49.1%

70.1%

60.0%

60.7%

65.5%

67.4%

66.3%

--

--

Maximum sampling error of percentages (at 95% conf. level)**

+/-4%

+/-4%

+/-4%

+/-4%

+/-4%

+/-4%

+/-3%

--

--

Finding for each question /Sampling error**

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Sampling error

--

--

Main factor: past performance

46%

40%

43%

46%

43%

43%

49%

+/-3%

+6%

+3%

Main factor: platform

27%

37%

27%

26%

31%

33%

30%

+/-3%

-3%

+4%

Critical consideration: stand on livelihood issues

77%

77%

79%

77%

85%

80%

84%

+/-3%

+4%

+7%

Critical consideration: political alignment

9%

11%

13%

14%

11%

12%

10%

+/-2%

-2%

-4%

First problem to be tackled: livelihood

35%

42%

43%

44%

54%

47%

49%

+/-3%

+2%

+5%

First problem to be tackled: local district problems

28%

20%

21%

30%

25%

33%

40%

+/-3%

+7%

+10%

First problem to be tackled: economy

12%

17%

14%

10%

6%

7%

3%

+/-1%

-4%

-7%

First problem to be tackled: employment/labour

9%

10%

9%

5%

4%

3%

1%

+/-1%

-2%

-4%

Proportion of voters who planned to vote in DC Election

71%

67%

70%

75%

75%

73%

76%

+/-3%

+3%

+1%

Knew which political camps are running for the election at local district^

--

--

--

67%

--

--

72%

+/-3%

--

+5%

Didn't know which political camps are running for the election at local district^

--

--

--

33%

--

--

28%

+/-3%

--

-5%

* Due to page limitation, the figures of third round of 1999 survey are listed only. For figures of the first two rounds of 1999 survey, please refer to the POP Site. 
** "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 only appeared in the third round of DC election survey in 2003.
 

Among the sub-sample of registered voters, 76% said they intended to vote, which is 1 percentage point higher than that recorded around the same time in 2003. (However, please note that 76% intention to vote may not convert into 76% turnout). Regarding the main factor for choosing the candidate, 49% and 30% respectively considered a candidate's past performance and political platform to be most important. Meanwhile, 84% would choose a candidate according to that person's stand on livelihood issues, 10% said the candidate's political alignment would be decisive. Moreover, 49% of the registered voters said the newly elected District Councillors should first tackle livelihood problems, 40% chose local district problems and 3% and 1% opted for economic problems and employment/labour issues respectively. Meanwhile, 72% of the registered voters said they knew which political camps are running for the election at local district, while 28% said they didn't know.

 
Date of survey
18-19/11/99
3-6/11/03
5-9/11/07
cf similar survey 2003
Sample base (registered voters who would vote)
504
528
636
--
Overall response rate
49.1%
60.7%
66.3%
--
Maximum sampling error of percentages (at 95% conf. level)*
+/-5%
+/-4%
+/-4%
--
Finding for each question/Sampling error*
Finding
Finding
Finding
Sampling error
--
Have decided which candidate to vote for
31%
45%
51%
+/-4%
+6%
Haven't decided which candidate to vote for
69%
55%
49%
+/-4%
-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.
 

Finally, the survey found that 51% of the registered voters who would vote have already decided which candidate to vote for. Yet, 49% were undecided at the moment.

 

Commentary

Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, explained, "Our survey shows that as elections draw near, voters are mainly concerned with candidates' past performance when choosing among them, whereas a candidate's stand on livelihood issues can be critical. Regarding their expectation on would-be district councillors, most voters would like their councillors to tackle livelihood issues first, followed by local district problems. All figures relating to the importance of past performance, livelihood issues and local problems are higher than those registered in 2003 around the same time. Voters' propensity to vote, however, is about the same as that registered in 2003 around this 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 November 13, 2007, Tuesday, between 1pm and 2pm, when the latest popularity figures of CE Donald Tsang and Principal Officials will be released. Then on November 16, 2007, Friday, between 1pm and 2pm, POP will release the final wave of District Council pre-election survey.

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

Third 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 third round District Council election survey is as follows:

  • The "third round District Council election survey" is conducted two weeks before the District Council election. Because District Council election is usually held in November every four years, the "third round District Council election survey" is therefore conducted in early November in District Council election year.

  • Questions asked in "third round District Council election" are all adapted from the first round survey and the question wordings used are, "Are you a registered voter?", "Do you plan to vote in the District Council election this November?", "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 November 1999, one question has been added in the third round survey. It is "Have you decided to vote for which candidate?". Then since November 2003, another question has been added as well. It is "Do you know which political camps are running for the election at your district?".

  • Before November 2003, the sample size of the "third 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 (Third Survey on the 2007 District Councils Election) |