HKU POP SITE releases the latest popularity figures of CE Donald Tsang and the HKSAR GovernmentBack

 
Press Release on June 24, 2008

| Abstract | Latest Figures | Opinion Daily | Commentary | News about POP |
| About HKUPOP | Detailed Findings (Popularity of Chief Executive/Popularity of HKSAR Government) |


Abstract

The Public Opinion Programme at the University of Hong Kong interviewed 1,003 Hong Kong people between 18 and 20 June by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers. The survey finds that the popularity figures of CE Donald Tsang continue to drop over the last two weeks. Compared to a month ago, his rating has dropped 8.1 marks while his approval rate has dropped 12 percentage points. They are both at record low since he became CE in 2005. As for the popularity of the SAR Government, also compared to a month ago, there is a parallel huge slump of 14 percentage points, now near the level registered at the end of 2006. Of the five specific policy areas, compared to 3 months ago, other than for 'government's handling of its relation with the Central Government', people's satisfaction in the remaining four areas has all dropped significantly. Among them, 'maintaining economic prosperity' and 'improving people's livelihood' mark the biggest drop by 15 and 11 percentage points respectively. According to Robert Chung, Director of POP, the controversies surrounding the recent appointment of Under Secretaries and Political Assistants, and the gradual emergence of inflation and livelihood problems, may all have affected the popularity of CE and the government. The sampling error of all percentages is between +/-2 to +/-3 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the sampling error of rating figure is +/-1.3 marks. The response rate of the survey is 70%.

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 1,003 successful interviews, not 1,003 x 70.3% response rate. In the past, many media made this mistake.
* The maximum sampling error of all percentages is between +/-2 to 3 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the sampling error of rating figure is +/-1.3. "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. When quoting these figures, journalists can state "sampling error of rating not more than +/-1.3 and 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, 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.

Latest Figures

POP today releases on schedule via the "POP SITE" the latest popularity figures of CE Donald Tsang and the HKSAR Government. 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

Sample base

Overall response rate

Sampling error of percentages*

18-20/6/08

1,003

70.3%

+/-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.

Recent popularity figures of Donald Tsang and people's satisfaction of the overall performance of the HKSAR Government are summarized as follows:

Date of survey

16-18/4/08

2-6/5/08

20-22/5/08

4-6/6/08

18-20/6/08

Latest change^

Sample base

1,009

1,024

1,023

1,032

1,003

--

Overall response rate

69.6%

63.8%

67.1%

68.5%

70.3%

--

Maximum sampling error of ratings
(at 95 % confidence level)*

+/-1.1

+/-1.2

+/-1.2

+/-1.2

+/-1.3

--

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

+/-3%

+/-3%

+/-3%

+/-3%

+/-3%

--

Finding for each question/Sampling error*

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Sampling error

--

Rating of CE Donald Tsang

64.8

65.1

66.0

60.8

57.9

+/-1.3

-2.9

Vote of confidence in CE Donald Tsang

64%

63%

63%

57%

51%

+/-3%

-6%

Vote of no confidence in CE Donald Tsang

16%

20%

18%

24%

30%

+/-3%

+6%

Satisfaction rate of SARG performance**

49%

--

50%

--

36%

+/-3%

-14%

Dissatisfaction rate of SARG performance**

13%

--

11%

--

22%

+/-3%

+11%

* "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 rating +/-1.3, sampling error of percentages not more than +/-3% at 95% confidence level" when quoting the above figures.
** Collapsed from a 5-point scale.
^ The polling cycle for different items varies. Parallel comparison across items should be synchronized.


The latest survey conducted in mid-June showed that, CE Donald Tsang scored 57.9 marks, and 51% supported him as the Chief Executive. Regarding people's appraisal of the overall performance of the HKSAR Government, the latest figures revealed that 36% were satisfied, whereas 22% were dissatisfied. Recent figures on people's appraisal of the five specific policy areas of the HKSAR Government are tabulated as follows:

Date of survey

15-21/6/07

17-21/9/07

19-24/12/07

18-20/3/08

18-20/6/08

Latest change

Sample base

1,006

1,008

1,019

1,026

1,003

--

Overall response rate

65.2%

65.5%

66.2%

65.7%

70.3%

--

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

+/-3%

+/-3%

+/-3%

+/-3%

+/-3%

--

Finding /Sampling error*

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Error

--

Relation with the Central Government: Satisfaction rate**

65%

70%

60%

64%

65%

+/-3%

+1%

Relation with the Central Government: Dissatisfaction rate**

8%

9%

13%

8%

10%

+/-2%

+2%

Protecting human rights and freedom: Satisfaction rate**

50%

54%

48%

49%

43%

+/-3%

-6%

Protecting human rights and freedom: Dissatisfaction rate**

19%

17%

19%

18%

23%

+/-3%

+5%

Maintaining economic prosperity: Satisfaction rate**

57%

58%

54%

57%

42%

+/-3%

-15%

Maintaining economic prosperity: Dissatisfaction rate**

13%

16%

18%

13%

22%

+/-3%

+9%

Pace of democratic development: Satisfaction rate**

34%

36%

34%

37%

32%

+/-3%

-5%

Pace of democratic development: Dissatisfaction rate**

32%

32%

32%

28%

33%

+/-3%

+5%

Improving people's livelihood:
Satisfaction rate**

36%

32%

29%

39%

28%

+/-3%

-11%

Improving people's livelihood: Dissatisfaction rate**

26%

34%

35%

26%

36%

+/-3%

+10%

* "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.
** Collapsed from a 5-point scale.


Of the 5 specific policy areas, people were most satisfied with the government's handling of its relation with the Central Government, with a satisfaction percentage of 65%. The government's performance in protecting human rights and freedom and maintaining economic prosperity followed, attaining a satisfaction percentage of 43% and 42% correspondingly. Meanwhile, a respective of 32% and 28% of the respondents were satisfied with the government's performance in developing democracy as well as improving people's livelihood.

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, using the previous survey as a reference point for comparison, our "Opinion Daily" for this release starts on March 19, 2008, because the previous survey of some items was conducted from March 18 to 20, 2008 while this survey was conducted from June 18 to 20, 2008. During this period, 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.

19/6/08

Many newspaper report and discuss the closure of Tatami Hampton Hotel.

11/6/08

Bird flu virus is found in three more wet markets in Hong Kong.

10/6/08

1) Chief Executive Donald Tsang apologizes for the arrangement of political appointments.
2) Over 500 drivers go on strike for tax cut on diesel.

9/6/08

Government is uncertain of the source of bird flu virus.

8/6/08

Electric power and water support to Tai O is suspended due to the heavy rainstorm.

7/6/08

1) The deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu is found in chickens at HK market.
2) Black rainstorm warning is hoisted by Hong Kong Observatory.

6/6/08

Education Bureau announces that new arrangements will start in 2009-10 school year the earliest.

5/6/08

The Chief Executive's Office Chan Tak-lam says Government could have handled the deputy minister issue better.

2/6/08

The CEO of HKEC vows to review closing auction session system.

31/5/08

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen talks about Deputy Director of Bureau and Political Assistant in Shanghai.

29/5/08

ICAC arrest 29 people in warrants scam probe.

19/5/08

The nation mourns at 2:28 pm for those who died in Sichuan earthquake.

18/5/08

The State Council announces national mourning on May 19 to 21.

7/5/08

Leakage of private data from HSBC and Immigration Department.

2/5/08

The Olympic torch relay at Hong Kong completes.

30/4/08

The Beijing Olympic flame arrives in Hong Kong.

29/4/08

HK Sports Federation and Olympic Committee announces list of 120 bearers for Olympic torch relay.

25/4/08

The Department of Health loses 691 records of patients.

22/4/08

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

31/3/08

Shoppers stocks up for fear of price rise while Beijing ensures adequate supplies of rice to HK and Macau.

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

Classes set to resume on next Monday as flu risk receding.

25/3/08

Hang Seng Index rises 1,356 points.

19/3/08

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


Commentary

Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, "The popularity figures of CE Donald Tsang continue to drop over the last two weeks. Compared to a month ago, his rating has dropped 8.1 marks while his approval rate has dropped 12 percentage points. They are both at record low since he became CE in 2005. As for the popularity of the SAR Government, also compared to a month ago, there is a parallel huge slump of 14 percentage points, now near the level registered at the end of 2006. Of the five specific policy areas, compared to 3 months ago, other than for 'government's handling of its relation with the Central Government', people's satisfaction in the remaining four areas has all dropped significantly. Among them, 'maintaining economic prosperity' and 'improving people's livelihood' mark the biggest drop by 15 and 11 percentage points respectively. The controversies surrounding the recent appointment of Under Secretaries and Political Assistants, and the gradual emergence of inflation and livelihood problems, may all have affected the popularity of CE and the government. As for the reasons affecting the ups and downs of these figures across different surveys, 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 June 26, 2008, Thursday, between 1pm and 2pm, when the latest figures on the popularity of SAR, Central and Taiwan Governments, and people's confidence in the future will be released. Then on June 27, Friday, between 1pm and 2pm, POP will release the latest figures of people's satisfaction with Legco members in general, the Hong Kong Police Force and the PLA Hong Kong Garrison. On June 30, Monday, between 1pm and 2pm, POP will release the latest results of the Handover Anniversary 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.

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

Again on mapping people's trust and satisfaction of different governments

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 these surveys, we have explained it separately in our press releases of August 22, November 28, December 14 and 27, 2006, April 3, July 3, September 25, December 28, 2007 as well as March 25, 2008. Today, we post it again in order to give readers a complete 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 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 are "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.


(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 are "Are you satisfied with the overall performance of the HKSAR Government?".


  • Also from July 1997, we began to survey people's satisfaction with the government's performance in five policy areas using the following questions: "Are you satisfied with the performance of the HKSAR Government in maintaining economic prosperity / improving people's livelihood / developing democracy / protecting human rights and freedom / handling of its relation with the Central Government?" The frequency of these sub-indicator surveys, however, was gradually thinned down from once every month at the beginning, to once every two months between July 2000 and May 2003, and then to once every three months since July 2003, in order to match the changing social conditions.


Before May 2000, the sample size of our regular surveys was set at slightly over 500, we increased it to at least 1,000 after that. The above surveys are no exceptions. The findings of these surveys are now published regularly on-line at our HKU POP Site, while all previous findings published via our newsletter POP Express have also been uploaded on-line in various formats.


| Abstract | Latest Figures | Opinion Daily | Commentary | News about POP |
| About HKUPOP | Detailed Findings (Popularity of Chief Executive/Popularity of HKSAR Government) |