HKU POP SITE releases the instant poll results on the BudgetBack


Press Release on February 28, 2008
 

| Abstract | Background | Latest Figures | Commentary | News about POP | About HKUPOP |
| Detailed Findings (Instant Poll of the 2008 Financial Budget / Popularity of Principal Officials) |

Abstract
 

The Public Opinion Programme at the University of Hong Kong interviewed 1,077 Hong Kong people last night (27 February) by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers. The survey finds that people's instant reaction to John Tsang's first Budget was quite positive, better than all four Budgets delivered by Henry Tang. Compared to early February, Tsang's popularity rating has jumped 12 marks, while his approval rate jumped 23 percentage points. Tsang has become a star overnight. Irrespective of whether they have known the Budget content, almost half said their confidence in Hong Kong's future has increased after the Budget, which is a very positive result. Robert Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, however, reminded people that whether and how people's reaction will change after knowing more about the Budget would have to be revealed by the next survey. The sampling error of all percentages is below +/-1 to 4 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the sampling error of rating figures needs another calculation. The response rate of the survey is 76%.

Points to note:

* The address of the "HKU POP SITE" is http://hkupop.hku.hk, journalists can check out the details of the survey there.
* The sample size of this survey is 1,077successful interviews, not 1,077 x 75.5% response rate. In the past, many media made this mistake.
* The maximum sampling error of all percentages is below +/-1 to 4 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the sampling error of rating figures needs another calculation. "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. When quoting these figures, journalists can state "sampling error of various ratings not more than +/-1.5 and sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4% at 95% confidence level". 
* When quoting percentages of this survey, journalists should refrain from reporting decimal places, but when quoting the rating figures, one decimal place can be used, in order to match the precision level of the figures.
* The data of this survey is collected by means of random telephone interviews conducted by real interviewers, not by any interactive voice system (IVS). If a research organization uses "computerized random telephone survey" to camouflage its IVS operation, it should be considered unprofessional.

Background
 

Since 1992, HKUPOP has been conducting Policy Address instant surveys every year. From 1998 onwards, we expanded our instant surveys to cover the Budget Talks. In free and democratic societies, instant surveys are indispensable sources of free information. Combined with appropriate follow-up surveys, and in parallel to expert analyses, they give a multi-dimensional picture of opinion development. They are an important part of a society's interactive development. Starting 2008, we split up previous years' instant survey into two surveys. In our first survey, we measure people's overall appraisal of the Budget, their rating of the Budget, their change in confidence towards Hong Kong's future, and FS's popularity. In our second survey, we focus on people's reactions towards different government proposals, their satisfaction with the government's fiscal policies, and other relevant issues. The instant survey released today is our first release under our new operation.

Latest Figures
 

The findings of the Budget instant poll released by the POP SITE today 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 of various surveys:

Year of survey

Date of survey

Total sample size

Response rate

Sampling error of %*

2008

27/2/08

1,077

75.5%

+/-3%

2007

28/2/07

1,018

65.2%

+/-3%

2006

22/2/06

1,026

68.3%

+/-3%

2005

16/3/05

1,041

65.2%

+/-3%

2004

10/3/04

1,023

64.7%

+/-3%

2003

5/3/03

1,047

71.4%

+/-3%

2002

6/3/02

1,041

59.9%

+/-3%

2001

7-8/3/01

502

67.1%

+/-4%

2000

8/3/00

856

56.4%

+/-3%

1999

3/3/99

1,190

62.1%

+/-3%

1998

18/2/98

804

54.7%

+/-4%

* 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.

Changes in the popularity figures of Financial Secretary John Tsang after the announcement of the Budget are summarized as follows:

 

Date of survey

5-9/11/07

3-7/12/07

2-3/1/08

1-5/2/08

27/2/08

Latest change

Sample base

1,009

1,012

1,015

1,029

1,077**

--

Overall response rate

66.3%

68.3%

66.8%

66.0%

75.5%

--

Sampling error of ratings
(at 95% conf. level)*

+/-1.2

+/-1.4

+/-1.4

+/-1.2

+/-1.5

--

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

+/-3%

+/-3%

+/-3%

+/-3%

+/-4%

--

Finding for each question / Sampling error*

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Sampling error

--

Rating of FS John Tsang

55.9

54.4

54.1

56.0

67.9

+/-1.5

+11.9

Vote of confidence in FS John Tsang

35%

32%

35%

35%

58%

+/-4%

+23%

Vote of no confidence in FS John Tsang

11%

12%

13%

11%

4%

+/-2%

-7%

* 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. 
**Starting from 2006, these questions only uses sub-samples of the tracking surveys concerned. The sub-sample sizes of questions on FS's support rating and hypothetical voting were 529 and 526 respectively.
 

The instant survey conducted last night showed that, the latest rating of FS John Tsang after his Budget Talk was 67.9 marks, with an approval and disapproval rate of 58% and 4% respectively.

With respect to people's satisfaction with this year's Budget, the figures are summarized below:

 

Date of survey

Sub-sample base#

Appraisal of Budget: Satisfaction rate**

Appraisal of Budget: Half-half

Appraisal of Budget: Dissatisfaction rate **

Sampling error of %*

Satisfaction rating
of Budget

Sampling error of ratings*

27/2/08

811

68%

21%

6%

+/-4%

70.6

+/-1.2

28/2/07

673

62%

25%

9%

+/-4%

--

--

22/2/06

577

50%

26%

19%

+/-4%

--

--

16/3/05

544

48%

29%

11%

+/-4%

--

--

10/3/04

395

37%

33%

12%

+/-5%

--

--

5/3/03

495

20%

23%

50%

+/-4%

--

--

6/3/02

539

47%

23%

17%

+/-4%

--

--

7-8/3/01

263

57%

25%

13%

+/-6%

--

--

8/3/00

643

70%

12%

4%

+/-4%

--

--

3/3/99

598

46%

27%

10%

+/-4%

--

--

18/2/98

638

55%

20%

7%

+/-4%

--

--

* 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.
** Collapsed from a 5-point scale.
#Those respondents who said they had not heard of the Budget / were not clear about the Budget content are excluded from the sub-sample. As the sub-sample is smaller, the sampling error increases correspondingly.
 

After excluding those respondents who said they had not heard of the Budget / were not clear about the Budget content, this year's instant survey showed that 68% were satisfied with it, 6% were dissatisfied and 21% said "half-half" while the average rating registered for the Budget was 70.6 marks. Because part of the respondents said they had not heard of the Budget / were not clear about the Budget content during the instant poll, the valid sub-sample of this item was smaller. The sampling error for this question has increased accordingly. 

The survey also gauged the change of people's confidence to wards Hong Kong's future after FD John Tsang has delivered his Budget Talk. Results are as follows: 

 

After FS John Tsang has delivered his first Budget Talk, have your confidence towards Hong Kong's future increased or decreased?*

 

Increased

48%

Unchanged

41%

Decreased

4%

Don't know/ hard to say

7%

Total

100%

* The sub-sample size of this question is 925 while the sampling error of all percentages is below +/-1 to 4 percentage points.
 

Findings showed that excluding those who said they had not heard of the content of the Budget, 48% said their confidence in the future of Hong Kong had increased, 41% opted for "no change", whilst 4% said their confidence had dropped. 

 

Commentary

Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, analyzed, "Based on those who have heard about the Budget speech, our survey has found that people's reaction to John Tsang's first Budget was quite positive. People's instant satisfaction rate has exceeded all four Budgets delivered by Henry Tang, and was just narrowly behind that of Donald Tsang's Budget in 2000. Compared to early February, Tsang's popularity rating has jumped 12 marks, while his approval rate jumped 23 percentage points. Tsang has become a star overnight. Irrespective of whether they have known the Budget content, almost half said their confidence in Hong Kong's future has increased after the Budget, which is a very positive result. Whether and how people's reaction will change after knowing more about the Budget will have to be revealed by our next survey."

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 February 29, 2008, Friday, between 1pm and 2pm, when the latest ratings of the top 10 political groups will be released. Then on March 3, Monday and March 4, Tuesday, between 1pm and 2pm, we will release the latest figures on the second round of Budget survey as well as on the popularity of SAR and Central Governments, and people's confidence in the future respectively.

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.

Since 2006, 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.


About HKUPOP

The development and operation of Budget instant survey

HKUPOP was established in 1991, we began our Policy Address instant surveys in October 1992. In February 1998, we expanded our instant surveys to cover the Budget Talks, and our operation has not been changed since then. By "instant survey", we mean a survey which begins on the same day when the Budget is announced, in order to gauge the immediate reaction of the people. We have explained the development of our Budget instant surveys in the press release of March 1, 2007. Today, we release an updated version with some editing, so that readers can have a more comprehensive picture of such development.

  • Before 2008, our Budget instant surveys comprised a set of core questions asked every year for repeated measurement, plus another set of ad hoc questions designed to match the content of each year's Budget Talk. Core questions included FS's popularity, people's overall appraisal of the Budget, people's satisfaction with the government's strategy in monetary arrangement as well as other relevant issues. Starting 2008, we split up previous years' instant survey into two surveys. In our first survey, we measure people's overall appraisal of the Budget, their rating of the Budget, their change in confidence towards Hong Kong's future, and FS's popularity. In our second survey, we focus on people's reactions towards different government proposals, their satisfaction with the government's fiscal policies, and other relevant issues.

  • Regarding the sample size, from 1998 to 2000, it was set at over 800. In 2001, the sample size was set at over 500. Since 2002, the sample size is always set at slightly over 1,000.

  • In case we have media sponsorship, our results would be released immediately, even on a real time basis. Otherwise, we generally announce the findings online through our website on the following day. The findings from our Budget instant surveys conducted by 2000 have been published in our newsletter POP Express, and they are available in our POP Site in various formats.

Below is an outline of our operation for the Budget instant survey of 2008:

  • After the HKSAR government announced the date of Budget Talk, we started our planning for the instant survey.

  • About one month ago, we began to keep track of news about the Budget, in order to lay the ground work of questionnaire design.

  • About one week ago, we began our manpower deployment. 

  • On Budget Day, we monitored the entire Budget Talk via the media and the Internet, including subsequent press conferences, and then drafted the questionnaire.

  • Random telephone interviews began at 6pm on the Budget Day, involving nearly 50 interviewers and staff. The interviews finished at 10pm, after collecting 1,077 samples.

  • Data verification and quantitative analyses followed immediately, together with the drafting of the press release.

  • On the following day, the survey findings were verified again, when the content of the POP Site and press release were proof read. The results would be released after everything was complete.

 

| Abstract | Background | Latest Figures | Commentary | News about POP | About HKUPOP |
| Detailed Findings (Instant Poll of the 2008 Financial Budget / Popularity of Principal Officials) |