HKU POP SITE releases the latest figures on the popularity of SAR, Central and Taiwan Governments, and people's confidence in the future Back

 
Press Release on April 29, 2008

| Abstract | Background | Latest Figures | Opinion Daily | Commentary |
| News about POP | About HKUPOP |
| Detailed Findings (People's Trust in the HKSAR Government/People's Trust in the Taiwan Government) |
| Detailed Findings (People's Trust in the Beijing Central Government) |
| Detailed Findings (People's Confidence in HK's Future/People's Confidence in China's Future) |
| Detailed Findings (People's Confidence in "One Country, Two Systems") |


Abstract

The Public Opinion Programme at the University of Hong Kong interviewed 1,029 Hong Kong people between 23 and 25 April by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers. Our survey finds that after the Taiwan presidential election, Hong Kong people's trust in the Taiwan government surged by 12 percentage points, while distrust plunged by 24 points. In relative terms, however, people still trust the SAR government most, followed by the central government, then the Taiwan government. Compared to two months ago, people's trust in the SAR government has significantly dropped, due to the receding Budget effect. As for people's trust in the central government, their confidence in the future of Hong Kong, China and 'one country, two systems', there are just little changes. According to Robert Chung, Director of POP, a significant change in Hong Kong people's perception of the Taiwan government has occurred even before the new government comes into office, it reflects people's earnest expectations on the new government. The sampling error of all percentages is below +/-2 to 3 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the response rate of the survey is 68%.

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 1,029 successful interviews, not 1,029 x 68.1% response rate. In the past, many media made this mistake.
* The maximum sampling error of all percentages is below +/-2 to 3 percentage points at 95% confidence level. "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 percentages not more than +/-3% at 95% confidence level".
* When quoting percentages of this survey, journalists should refrain from reporting decimal places 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 December 1992 and continuously for 15 years, POP has been regularly surveying Hong Kong people's opinion on the trust in cross-strait governments, as part of our survey series on national issues. All surveys on people's trust in Taiwan government conducted in or before June 1999 were published in our newsletter POP Express. After our POP Site was established in June 2000, we gradually move our survey items on-line one by one. Because the issue of Taiwan has become a focus of public attention recently, and cross-strait relations is entering a new stage after the Taiwan presidential election, POP has decided to collate all previous findings on people's trust in Taiwan government together, and present them along with the those of HKSAR and Central governments for public reference. As for previous findings already published in our POP Express, they are available in the "Archive" section of our POP Site.

Latest Figures

POP today releases on schedule via the POP Site the latest findings on people's trust in the HKSAR, Beijing Central and Taiwan Governments, their confidence in Hong Kong's future, China's future and "one country, two systems". 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 2007 year-end. Herewith the contact information for the latest survey:

Date of survey

Overall sample size

Response rate

Sampling error of percentages/ratings*

23-25/4/2008

1,029

68.1%

+/-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.

Recent popularity figures of SAR, Central and Taiwan Governments, and people's confidence in the future are summarized below:

Date of survey

13-16/8/07

22-25/10/07

11-14/12/07

28-29/2/08

23-25/4/08

Latest Change

Sample base

1,008

1,016

1,011

1,007

1,029

--

Overall response rate

67.1%

67.4%

65.1%

69.2%

68.1%

--

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

+/-3%

+/-3%

+/-3%

+/-3%

+/-3%

--

Finding for each question / Sampling error*

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Error

--

Trust in HKSAR Government**

65%

63%

51%

66%

60%

+/-3%

-6%

Distrust in HKSAR Government**

6%

9%

15%

5%

7%

+/-2%

+2%

Trust in Beijing Government**

56%

59%

49%

52%

55%

+/-3%

+3%

Distrust in Beijing Government**

15%

13%

19%

15%

13%

+/-2%

-2%

Trust in Taiwan Government**

5%

5%

5%

7%

19%

+/-2%

+12%

Distrust in Taiwan Government**

60%

67%

70%

53%

29%

+/-3%

-24%

Confidence in HK's future

79%

83%

79%

83%

80%

+/-2%

-3%

No-confidence in HK's future

14%

10%

16%

12%

15%

+/-2%

+3%

Confidence in China's future

87%

88%

88%

88%

88%

+/-2%

--

No-confidence in China's future

8%

7%

9%

8%

8%

+/-2%

--

Confidence in "one country, two systems"

77%

75%

73%

75%

77%

+/-3%

+2%

No-confidence in "one country, two systems"

17%

18%

22%

18%

17%

+/-2%

-1%

* "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.


Survey conducted in late-April revealed that 60% of the respondents trusted the HKSAR Government, 55% trusted the Beijing Central Government, and 19% trusted the Taiwan Government. On the other hand, 80% of the respondents had confidence in Hong Kong's future and 88% had confidence in China's future, while 77% of the respondents were confident in "one country, two systems".

Opinion Daily

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.

In August 2007, POP began to 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. This press release is no exception.

For the polling items covered in this press release, the previous survey was conducted from February 28 to 29, 2008 while this survey was conducted from April 23 to 25, 2008. In between these two surveys, herewith the significant events selected from counting newspaper headlines and commentaries on a daily basis and covered by at least 25% of the local newspaper articles. Readers can make their own judgment if these significant events have any impacts to different polling figures.

25/4/08

The Department of Health loses records of 691 patients

24/4/08

Mainland Index shoot up around 9 per cent.

23/4/08

Mainland slashes stampduty on stocks.

22/4/08

Hong Kong will build a rail link connecting the city to Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

20/4/08

French protests spread across China.

16/4/08

Inflation is turning up around the globe.

13/4/08

Siew Wan-chang finds the Boao Forum fruitful.

12/4/08

Hu Jintao and Siew Wan-chang meet in Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan.

10/4/08

Yuan breaks 7 against US dollars.

8/4/08

Olympic torch relay could be cut short.

7/4/08

Protest mounts during the Olympic torch relay in Paris.

31/3/08

1) Shoppers stocks up for fear of price rise while Beijing ensures adequate supplies of rice to HK and Macau.
2) The Olympic torch relay starts.

28/3/08

Many newspapers comment on Martin Lee's decision of stepping down from the Legislative Council.

27/3/08

Li Ka-shing says the sub-prime problem in US will affect HK's economy.

26/3/08

1) Beijing Olympic Games becomes politicized due to Tibet incident.
2) Classes set to resume on next Monday as flu risk receding.

25/3/08

Hang Seng Index rises 1,356 points.

24/3/08

1) The flame for the Beijing Games are ignited at the sacred site of ancient Olympia.
2) Many newspapers report the effects of Ma Ying-jeou's victory as Taiwan's president on cross-strait development.

23/3/08

Ma Ying-jeou expresses his views on cross-strait issues after elected as Taiwan's president.

22/3/08

Ma Ying-jeou wins Taiwan's presidential election.

21/3/08

Taiwan's presidential election will be held tomorrow.

19/3/08

HK banks cut its key interest rate by 50 basis points.

18/3/08

The first session of the 11th National People's Congress closes.

16/3/08

Riots stopped in Tibet, but violence spreads to Sichuan.

15/3/08

At least 10 people have been killed in Lhasa's violence.

14/3/08

Secretary for Food and Health York Chow anticipates that the flu could continue until April or afterward.

13/3/08

Proposal of reforming public health system is officially released.

12/3/08

York Chow announces all primary schools, special schools, nurseries and kindergartens will be closed for two weeks.

6/3/08

The flu season occurs in HK.

5/3/08

Premier Wen Jiabao delivers government work report in National People's Congress.

29/2/08

Government announces 2008-09 new land Application List.

28/2/08

The governments of HK, Guangdong, and Macau endorse the financing scheme for bridges linking the three places and the project will soon proceed to public tenders.


Commentary

Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, "After the Taiwan presidential election, Hong Kong people's trust in the Taiwan government surged by 12 percentage points, while distrust plunged by 24 points. This significant change in Hong Kong people's perception has occurred even before the new government comes into office, it reflects their earnest expectations on the new government. In relative terms, however, people still trust the SAR government most, followed by the central government, then the Taiwan government. Compared to two months ago, people's trust in the SAR government has significantly dropped, due to the receding Budget effect. As for people's trust in the central government, their confidence in the future of Hong Kong, China and 'one country, two systems', there are just little changes. As for the reasons affecting the ups and downs of these figures, we leave it to our readers to form their own judgment using the detailed records displayed in our 'Opinion Daily'."

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 May 6, 2008, Tuesday, between 1pm and 2 pm, when the latest ratings of Top 5 members of Executive Council will be released.

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 January 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".

About HKUPOP

Mapping people's trust and satisfaction of different governments as well as their confidence in the future and "one country, two systems"

One important aspect of opinion polling around the world is to monitor people's trust and satisfaction of the government. Shortly after HKUPOP was established, we started to conduct surveys on these aspects. Regarding the development of the surveys, we have explained it in our press release of August 22, November 7 and 28, December 14, 2006, February 21, April 26, June 14, August 21, November 6, December 18, 2007 as well as March 4, 2008. Today, we post it again to give readers a more comprehensive picture of such developments.

(1) Mapping people's trust in different governments

  • Due to Hong Kong's very special political status, before the handover in 1997, our survey covered people's trust in the British Hong Kong, British, Chinese, and Taiwan Governments. After the handover, the survey method remained unchanged, but the term British Hong Kong Government was substituted by the HKSAR Government, and Chinese Government was substituted by Central Government, while our survey on people's trust in the British Government stopped.


  • Our surveys began in December 1992, the wordings used in the questionnaire being "On the whole, do you trust such and such government?". Surveys were conducted once every month, until October 1997 when it was changed to once every two months. It has remained unchanged since then.


  • Before May 2000, the sample size of our regular surveys was set slightly over 500. After that, it was then increased to at least 1,000.

(2) Mapping people's satisfaction with the government
  • In December 1992, we started to survey people's trust in the British Hong Kong, British, Chinese, and Taiwan Governments. These surveys continued after the handover, but we expanded their scope by introducing people's satisfaction with the HKSAR Government. We take measurements as frequently as we could, using our limited resources. Besides people's general satisfaction with the HKSAR Government, our survey also includes indicators on the government's performance in maintaining economic prosperity, improving people's livelihood, pace of democratic development, and so on


  • Our surveys on people's satisfaction with the HKSAR Government in general began in July 1997. Since then, it has been conducted once every month. The wordings used in the questionnaire being "Are you satisfied with the overall performance of the HKSAR Government?"


  • Before May 2000, the sample size of our regular surveys was set slightly over 500. After that, it was then increased to at least 1,000.

(3) Mapping people's confidence in the future and "one country, two systems"
  • In December 1992, our survey series on people's confidence started. With respect to people's confidence in Hong Kong, the wordings used in the questionnaire being "Do you have confidence in HK's future?". Surveys were conducted once every month, until April 1998 when it was changed to once every two months. It has remained unchanged since then.


  • As for people's confidence in China's future, the frequency was not quite stable at the beginning. Beginning in July 1997, the wordings used in the questionnaire being "Do you have confidence in China's future?". Surveys were conducted once every month at the beginning, but between January 1998 and July 2001, only 5 surveys were conducted on an irregular basis. Then, in August 2001, the survey began its regular course of development, and has been conducted once every two months since then.


  • As for people's confidence in "one country, two systems", the survey started in June 1993. The wordings used in the questionnaire being "On the whole, do you have confidence in 'one country, two systems?". Surveys were conducted once every two months, until May 1995 when it was changed to once every month, but were later on changed to once every two months since February 1998. It has remained unchanged since then.


  • Regarding the sample size, from the beginning to June 2000, the sample size of "people's confidence in HK's future / "one country, two systems" survey was set at slightly over 500, while starting from May 2000, it was increased to at least 1,000. As for "people's confidence in China's future", since July 2001, the sample size has been changed from slightly over 500 to at least 1,000.

The above findings have all been published regularly on-line via our HKU POP Site, while all the previous findings published via our newsletter POP Express have also been uploaded in various formats.


| Abstract | Background | Latest Figures | Opinion Daily | Commentary |
| News about POP | About HKUPOP |
| Detailed Findings (People's Trust in the HKSAR Government/People's Trust in the Taiwan Government) |
| Detailed Findings (People's Trust in the Beijing Central Government) |
| Detailed Findings (People's Confidence in HK's Future/People's Confidence in China's Future) |
| Detailed Findings (People's Confidence in "One Country, Two Systems") |