Looking back at the year past, 64% said they were satisfied with Hong Kong's development, 10% were dissatisfied. Meanwhile, 57% expected Hong Kong's development in general to become "better" next year, 12% said it would be worse. Besides, 36% considered "economy" to be the most important problem that the government should tackle next year, 13% and 11% respectively thought "welfare" and "constitutional development" was the most pressing problem. If one had to choose between a "prosperous", "free", "fair", "welfare", and "corruption-free" society, 31% of the respondents would wish Hong Kong to become a "prosperous" society, while 22% and 21% respectively opted for a "corruption-free" and "fair" society.
Findings also showed that 57% of the respondents said they were happy in the year past, 10% were not. As for the coming year, 46% believed their personal development would become better, 11% thought they would worse off.
In January 2007, POP opened a feature page called "Opinion Daily" at the "POP Site", to record significant events and selected polling figures on a day-to-day basis. Our purpose is to provide readers with accurate information so that they can judge by themselves the reasons for the ups and downs of different opinion figures. When "Opinion Daily" began to operate on January 17, 2007, it only contained significant events and popularity figures of the Chief Executive over the past few months. As of today, it contains a chronology of events starting from May 1, 2006, and many poll figures registered since January 1, 2006. Readers can now 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, the content of "Opinion Daily" will continue to expand, in order to promote the science of opinion polling.
In July 2007, POP collaborated with Wisers Information Limited whereby Wisers supplies to POP since July 24 each day a record of significant events of that day, according to the 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.
Since August 2007, POP would normally include in its regular press releases a list of significant events which happened in between two surveys, so that readers can make their own judgment on whether these events have any effect on the ups and downs of the polling figures. Yet, this press release is an exception. It is because for the polling items covered in this press release, the previous survey was conducted from December 18 to 20, 2006 while this survey was conducted from December 19 to 24, 2007. The two surveys were one year apart, and any of the significant events inside "Opinion Daily" in between might have affected people's comments for the year past. Thus, this press release would not further select the events from "Opinion Daily", but readers can make their own judgment based on the detailed records in the respective online section.
Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, "Our survey shows that by mid and late December this year, people's appraisal of Hong Kong's development in the year past was significantly higher than that of last year. It also reached record high since this survey series began in 1992. On the other hand, those who said they lived a happy life in the year past, those who expected their personal development and Hong Kong's development in general would become better in the year ahead have remained almost the same as those registered last year, meaning that most people are cautiously optimistic. It should be noted, however, that our latest survey was conducted before the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress made its decision on the constitutional development of Hong Kong. Our survey figures, therefore, cannot reflect the effect of that decision on Hong Kong people's sentiment."
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. As Tuesday is a public holiday, POP Site will release our survey result on January 2, 2008, Wednesday, between 1pm and 2pm, when the findings of the people's new year wishes will be released. Then on January 4, 2008, Friday, between 1pm and 2pm, POP Site will release the latest popularity figures of people's satisfaction with Legco members in general, the PLA Hong Kong garrison and the Hong Kong Police Force.
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 press release a small educational section for the purpose of general civic education, the content of which is usually based on previous questions and comments we have received from the public. The subject of our education section today is "About HKUPOP".
Year-end review and forecast surveys
It is a common practice that at the end of a year, people would like to look back at their achievement in the year past, and then look forward to what would happen in the year to come. Shortly after HKUPOP was established, we began to conduct year-end surveys. Besides mapping people's general appraisal of the year past, we also ask people for their expectations on, and forecast of, their own development in the year ahead, as well as that of the society and that of the government. We have explained the development of the survey in our press releases of December 29, 2006. Today we release it again, so that readers can refresh such development.
In December 1992, we began to conduct year-end surveys. At first, we only asked questions on people's forecast of society's development in the year ahead, and their expectations on government policies. From the second year onwards, we gradually expanded our survey to cover people's expectation of their own development, their expectation of society's development, and their general satisfaction with development in the year past.
The questionnaire we now use comprises 7 opinion questions, namely: "In general, are you satisfied with the development of Hong Kong in the year xxxx?", "Do you think the development of Hong Kong in the year xxxx +1 will be better or worse?", "What do you think is the most important problem that the HKSAR government should tackle in the year xxxx +1?", "What kind of society would you most like Hong Kong to become: a prosperous, free, fair, welfare or corruption-free society?", "Were you happy in the year xxxx?", "Do you have any new year wish?" and "Do you think your personal development will become better or worse in the year xxxx +1?".
Regarding sample size, before 2000, the sample size of surveys was set at slightly over 500. Since 2000, the sample size was increased to at least 1,000.
The findings from our "year-end review and forecast surveys" conducted on or before 2000 were released through our newsletter POP Express. After our HKU POP Site was established, the findings are released online, while all previous findings published in our POP Express have also uploaded on-line in various formats.