HKU POP SITE releases the latest survey result on political reformBack


Press Release on November 14, 2007
 

| Background | Latest Figures | Commentary | Detailed Findings (Eleventh Public Opinion Survey on Political Reform) |

Background
 

In May 2007, 22 pan-democratic Legislative Councillors reached an agreement with the Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong, whereby POP would conduct, roughly twice a month, regular opinion surveys to gauge people's views on universal suffrage of the Chief Executive and the Legislative Council. Moreover, the pan-democrats would also sponsor POP to set up an online "Political Reform Opinion Platform" (PROP) at the "Hong Kong People's Opinion Platform" (http://hkpop.hk) for the public to express their views on political reform. The platform is designed and operated independently by POP.

POP has already explained the operation and design of these surveys many times, we will briefly explain them again. According to research agreement reached between POP and the pan-democrats, every survey in this tracking series of political reform surveys would include two questions on people's support of the political reform proposals by the pan-democrats, one on their proposal for introducing universal suffrage to the CE election in 2012, and the other on introducing universal suffrage to Legco election in 2012. POP would decide on what other questions to ask. Moreover, POP would also be solely responsible for designing and analyzing all questions in all surveys.

After thorough consideration of the resources available and the current social conditions, we decided that in the 9 surveys conducted before the close of the government consultation period on political reform, other than repeating the questions on pan-democrats' proposals each time, we would also measure public opinion on the timetable of universal suffrage in every alternative survey, and to ask people once every two months their views on the sufficiency of conditions in Hong Kong for introducing universal suffrage. After the consultation period, we would adjust our operation according to the current situation. Even during the consultation period, we also compiled ad hoc questions from time to time for feature discussions, depending on the talking points of the time. In every press release which we put out, we would explain in detail the objectives of introducing these questions and their results. We welcome everybody, especially professionals in the polling industry, to comment on the pros and cons of our survey design.

We are glad to report that the pan-democrats have hitherto given us great respect. They fully accepted our research autonomy and professional ethics, even when the findings are not favourable to them. Other than praising them for their open-mindedness, we also hope that other organizations including Government departments would adopt the same attitude to respect the research autonomy of academic institutions when commissioning opinion surveys, so that our civil society can advance to new heights.

Herewith the fieldwork periods and release dates of all surveys of the series:

  Serial number  Survey period   Sample size   Release date 
  1st survey  1-7/6/07   1,022   10/6/07 
  2nd survey  18-22/6/07   1,026   25/6/07 
  3rd survey  3-6/7/07   1,011   9/7/07 
  4th survey  23-26/7/07   1,007   30/7/07 
  5th survey  6-10/8/07   1,013   13/8/07 
  6th survey  20-24/8/07   1,010   27/8/07 
  7th survey  4-7/9/07   1,025   10/9/07 
  8th survey  17-21/9/07   1,027   25/9/07 
  9th survey  2-5/10/07   1,008   8/10/07 
  10th survey  22-25/10/07   1,016   31/10/07 
  11th survey  5-9/11/07   1,009   14/11/07 

The findings of the above surveys have been uploaded at the "Hong Kong People's Opinion Platform" (http://hkpop.hk) and the "HKU POP SITE" (http://hkupop.hku.hk). At the same time, POP welcome readers to express their views on the platform, while journalists are also welcome to email their questions to <[email protected]>. We will reply as soon as we can, and will upload the questions and answers to the "Press Corner" of the Platform for public reference.


Latest Figures

The latest survey findings released by POP today have been weighted according to the 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   Sample base   Overall response rate   Sampling error of percentages* 
 5-9/11/07   1,009   66.3%   +/- 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.
 

Beginning in June 2007, POP has been measuring people's support for the pan-democrats' proposals on 2012 CE and LC elections for eleven times. Please refer to the POP Site regarding the results of the first ten surveys. Results of the latest survey are as follows:

Date of survey
6-10/8
20-24/8
4-7/9
17-21/9
2-5/10
22-25/10
5-9/11
最新變化
Sample base
1,013
1,010
1,025
1,027
1,008
1,016
1,009
--
Overall response rate
63.8%
65.2%
66.0%
65.5%
65.4%
67.4%
66.3%
--
Sampling error of percentages (at 95% confidence level)*
+/-3%
+/-3%
+/-3%
+/-3%
+/-3%
+/-3%
+/-3%
--
Regarding the Chief Executive election in 2012, it is proposed that 400 directly elected district councillors should be added to the existing 800-member Election Committee, adding up to a total of approximately 1,200 committee members. The number of subscribers required should be 50 regardless of the sector they belong to. The Chief Executive should ultimately be elected by universal suffrage. Do you support or oppose this proposal?**
Support
56%
55%
59%
57%
58%
53%
56%
+3%
Half-half
20%
18%
14%
16%
17%
20%
17%
-3%
Oppose
17%
17%
16%
16%
16%
16%
20%
+4%
Don't know/hard to say
8%
10%
10%
10%
10%
10%
7%
-3%
Regarding the Legislative Council election in 2012, it is proposed that a mixed election model would be adopted, whereby half of the seats would be returned by a "single seat single vote" simple majority system. The other half of the seats would be returned through elections by the "proportional representation system" so that each voter can cast two votes. Do you support or oppose this proposal?**
Support
50%
50%
51%
50%
47%
45%
47%
+2%
Half-half
21%
16%
14%
16%
18%
19%
19%
--
Oppose
17%
16%
18%
14%
17%
18%
19%
+1%
Don't know/hard to say
13%
18%
17%
20%
18%
19%
16%
-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.
** Collapsed from a 5-point scale.
 

With respect to the pan-democrats' proposal regarding universal suffrage for CE in 2012, the question wordings used in this survey were: "It is proposed that 400 directly elected district councilors would be added to the existing 800-member Election Committee, adding up to a total of approximately 1,200 committee members. The number of subscribers required would be 50 regardless of the sector they belong to. The Chief Executive would finally be returned by universal suffrage." Results of our survey conducted in early November showed that this proposal attained a support rate of 56% versus 20% opposition. As for the pan-democrats' proposal regarding universal suffrage for Legislative Council in 2012, the question wordings used in this survey were: "It is proposed that a mixed election model would be adopted, whereby half of the seats would be returned by a "single seat single vote" simple majority system. The other half of the seats would be returned through elections by the "proportional representation system" so that each voter can cast two votes. Results of our survey conducted in early November showed that this proposal attained a support rate of 47%, versus 19% opposition. 

Besides, the survey gauged respondents' demands for universal suffrage for CE and Legislative Council. Results are as follows:

Date of survey

4-7/9
2-5/10
22-25/10
5-9/11
最新變化

Sample base

1,025
1,008
1,016
1,009
--

Overall response rate

66.0%
65.4%
67.4%
66.3%
--

Sampling error of percentages (at 95% confidence level)*

+/-3%
+/-3%
+/-3%
+/-3%
--
Article 45 of Basic Law states that the method for selecting the Chief Executive shall be specified in the light of the actual situation in the HKSAR and in accordance with the principle of gradual and orderly progress. The ultimate aim is the selection of the Chief Executive by universal suffrage. If only given the following choices, which year would you prefer implementing the selection of CE by universal suffrage?

2012 (5 years later)

55%
58%
53%
54%
+1%

2017 (10 years later)

27%
26%
30%
30%
--

2022 (15 years later)

5%
5%
4%
5%
+1%

2027 (20 years later)

5%
3%
4%
5%
+1%

Don't know/hard to say

8%
7%
9%
7%
-2%
Article 68 of Basic Law states that the method for forming the Legislative Council shall be specified in the light of the actual situation in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and in accordance with the principle of gradual and orderly progress. The ultimate aim is the election of all the members of the Legislative Council by universal suffrage. If only given the following choices, which year would you prefer implementing the selection of Legislative Councillors by universal suffrage?

2012 (5 years later)

64%
67%
57%
60%
+3%

2016 (9 years later)

17%
18%
23%
21%
-2%

2020 (13 years later)

6%
4%
6%
7%
+1%

2024 (17 years later)

2%
2%
2%
2%
--

2028 (21 years later)

4%
2%
3%
3%
--

Don't know/hard to say

8%
7%
9%
7%
-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.

Our latest survey shows, if only given the choices of years 2012, 2017, 2022 and 2027, 54% would prefer implementing the selection of CE by universal suffrage in 2012, while 30% chose "2017". The percentages of people who opted for "2022", "2027" and "don't know/hard to say" are 5%, 5% and 7% correspondingly. Regarding the return of Legislative Councillors by universal suffrage, if only given the choices of years 2012, 2016, 2020, 2024 and 2028, 60% would prefer implementing the selection of Legislative Councillors by universal suffrage in 2012, while 21% chose "2016". The percentages of people who opted for "2020", "2024", "2028" and "don't know/hard to say" are 7%, 2%, 3% and 7% correspondingly.

Besides, the survey gauged respondents' opinions on the speech given by leaders of China during the 17th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. Results are as follows:

The Chinese Communist Party recently held its 17th National Congress and the leaders gave many important speeches. Do you believe this development will increase or decrease the chance of Hong Kong's implementation of universal suffrage in 2012?

 

Increased

16%

Decreased

14%

No effect

56%

Don't know/
Hard to say

14%

Total

100%


The Chinese Communist Party recently held the 17th National Congress and the leaders gave many important speeches. Survey findings showed that 56% believed that this development would have no effect on the chance of Hong Kong's implementation of universal suffrage in 2012, while 16% said it would increase the chance and 14% believed it would decrease the chance. Finally, the survey asked people's views on whether the recent discussion on District Council election and Legislative Council by-election has any effect on their concern over political reform, the results is as follows:

 

Has the recent discussion on District Council election and Legislative Council by-election increased or decreased your concern over political reform?

 

Increased

34%

Decreased

3%

No effect

60%

Don't know/
Hard to say

3%

Total

100%

Survey findings showed that 34% said the recent discussion on District Council election and Legislative Council by-election has increased their concern over political reform, while only 3% said it has decreased their concern and 60% said it had no effect at all.


Commentary

On the findings of this second survey conducted after the consultation period of the government's "Green Paper on Constitutional Development", Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, "Our latest survey shows that people's support of pan-democrats' proposal on 2012 CE election is 56%, or 3 percentage-points up from that registered two weeks ago. People's support of pan-democrats' proposal on 2012 Legco election is 47%, up 2 percentage-points. During the consultation period, we conducted 6 surveys on people's support of these two proposals, and their average support rates were 57% and 49% respectively, very close to those registered in our latest survey. On the timetable for universal suffrage, as the consultation period of the "Green Paper on Constitutional Development" came to an end, we began to use two simplified close-ended questions to gauge people's opinion. In our latest survey, 54% said universal suffrage for CE should be implemented by 2012, while 60% said universal suffrage for Legco should be introduced by 2012. Both figures are slightly higher than those registered late last month, and both represent majority view. On current issues, our survey shows that most people think that the speeches made by Chinese leaders during the 17th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party would not affect the pace of democracy in Hong Kong. About 15% both ways said there are positive and negative effects, so they cancel out each other. Finally, although 60% said that the ongoing District Council election and Legislative Council by-election have no effect on their concern over political reform, one-third said their concern has increased. The overall effect is therefore positive."

 

| Background | Latest Figures | Commentary | Detailed Findings (Eleventh Public Opinion Survey on Political Reform) |