HKU POP SITE releases the latest popularity figures of CE Donald TsangBack

 
Press Release on July 22, 2008

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


Special Announcement

The Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong is now responsible for designing and maintaining the Chinese homepage of the WorldPublicOpinion.org (WPO). WPO was initiated by and is managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, USA. At present WPO consists of research centers in 22 countries or regions. The English website of the WPO is located at http://www.worldpublicopinion.org, while its Chinese website is located at http://wpo.hkpop.hk which can be accessed via the HKU POP Site at http://hkupop.hku.hk or Hong Kong People's Opinion Platform at http://www.hkpop.hk. POP will be responsible for translating WPO's research reports and press releases into Chinese, for global release.

Abstract

POP interviewed 1,181 Hong Kong people between 14 and 16 July by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers. The survey finds that after CE Donald Tsang announced his package of 10 relief measures on July 16, various popularity figures of the CE and the SAR government have significantly increased. This shows the positive effect of the package. However, if we compare the July 16 sub-sample figures with the overall figures registered in July 2 to 3, we can see that the overall effect is slight, because CE's popularity was going down between early and mid-July. POP Director Robert Chung observed, despite government's tremendous effort in delivering relief measures on the economic front, there is still no surprise in the popularity of the CE and the SAR government, after their big plunge over the past two months. There must be some kind of problems hidden deep in its governance culture. It is high time that the CE and all government think tanks search for better answers, beyond making reference to personal gains and losses. The sampling error of all percentages is below +/- 3 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the sampling error of rating figure is below +/-1.2 marks. The response rate of the survey is 64%.

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 1,181 successful interviews, not 1,181 x 64.4% response rate. In the past, many media made this mistake.
* The maximum sampling error of all percentages is below +/-3 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the sampling error of rating figure is below +/-1.2 marks. "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 below +/-3% at 95% confidence level for percentage figures, and +/-1.2 for rating figure".
* 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

Overall sample size

Response rate

Sampling error of percentages*

14-16/7/2008

1,181

64.4%

+/-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. 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

20-22/5/08

4-6/6/08

18-20/6/08

2-3/7/08

14-16/7/08

Latest change^

Sample base

1,023

1,032

1,003

1,019

1,181

--

Overall response rate

67.1%

68.5%

70.3%

70.8%

64.4%

--

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

+/-1.2

+/-1.2

+/-1.3

+/-1.3

+/-1.2

--

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

66.0

60.8

57.9

55.9

54.5

+/-1.2

-1.4

Vote of confidence in CE Donald Tsang

63%

57%

51%

46%

45%

+/-3%

-1%

Vote of no confidence in CE Donald Tsang

18%

24%

30%

37%

33%

+/-3%

-4%

Satisfaction rate of SARG performance**

50%

--

36%

--

30%

+/-3%

-6%

Dissatisfaction rate of SARG performance**

11%

--

22%

--

25%

+/-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. Media can state "sampling error of rating +/-1.2, 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-July showed that, CE Donald Tsang scored 54.5 marks, and 45% supported him as the Chief Executive. Regarding people's appraisal of the overall performance of the HKSAR Government, the latest figures revealed that 30% were satisfied, whereas 25% were dissatisfied. Because the survey happened to concur with CE Donald Tsang's announcement of relief measures on July 16, POP therefore breaks down the figures on a daily basis to facilitate further analysis, as follows:

Date of survey

14-15/7/08

16/7/08

--

14-16/7/08

Sample base

778

403

--

1,181

Overall response rate

--

--

--

64.4%

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

+/-1.5

+/-2.1

--

+/-1.2

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

+/-4%

+/-5%

--

+/-3%

Finding for each question/Sampling error*

Finding

Sampling error

Finding

Sampling error

Change

Finding

Sampling error

Rating of CE Donald Tsang

53.7

+/-1.5

56.1

+/-2.1

+2.4

54.5

+/-1.2

Vote of confidence in CE Donald Tsang

43%

+/-4%

48%

+/-5%

+5%

45%

+/-3%

Vote of no confidence in CE Donald Tsang

34%

+/-3%

30%

+/-5%

-4%

33%

+/-3%

Satisfaction rate of SARG performance**

28%

+/-3%

35%

+/-5%

+7%

30%

+/-3%

Dissatisfaction rate of SARG performance**

28%

+/-3%

20%

+/-4%

-8%

25%

+/-3%


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 of some items was conducted from June 18 to 20, 2008 while this survey was conducted from July 14 to 16, 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.

16/7/08

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam- kuen has unveiled an HK$11 billion inflation relief package.

12/7/08

Rita Lau Ng Wai-lan succeeds Frederick Ma Si-hang as the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development.

11/7/08

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen promises to formulate policies to ease the burdens created by inflation.

10/7/08

Hong Kong passed its first anti-racism law.

9/7/08

HK Government will invite new tenders for the development of Kai Tak cruise terminal.

8/7/08

Vice-President Xi Jinping wound up his three-day visit in Hong Kong .

7/7/08

Vice-President Xi Jinping continues visit in Hong Kong.

6/7/08

Vice-president Xi Jinping pledges Beijing support for city.

5/7/08

Vice President Xi Jinping will arrive in Hong Kong tomorrow.

1/7/08

Protesters of the annual July 1 march urging the Government's response to demands.

26/6/08

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen makes unprecedented appearance in chamber to defend political appointees.


Commentary

(Note: The following commentary was written by Director of POP Robert Chung.)

The latest tracking survey was conducted by POP from July 14 to 16, accidentally right before and after CE Donald Tsang announced his over $10 billion package of 10 relief measures in the Legislative Council on July 16. POP therefore seized this unplanned opportunity to further analyze the effect of these measures on the popularity of the CE. As a matter of fact, since POP opened the feature page of "Opinion Daily" at the "POP Site" in January 2007, readers can freely select their own survey items and significant events and conduct their own analysis of daily changes, in order to form their own judgment. The following is just one such example.

  • POP conducted the previous survey of CE Donald Tsang's popularity from July 2 to 3. CE scored 55.9 then, with an approval rate of 46%. Both were at record low since Tsang became CE in 2005.


  • According to records in POP's "Opinion Daily", as early as July 11, CE had already promised that he would take extraordinary measures to ease the burden of the poorer sector of the community due to inflation. That promise was widely covered by the media.


  • On July 16, CE announced in the Legislative Council his package of 10 relief measures worth over $10 billions. At that time, POP happened to finished 2/3 of the fieldwork for the latest tracking survey. The remaining 1/3 was completed in the evening after CE made the announcement.


  • Using the full sample interviewed from July 14 to 16 and compared to early July, Tsang's popularity figures continued to drop, but at a slower rate. Compared to late May before the trend started, his rating has dropped 11.5 marks while his approval rate has dropped 18 percentage points. They are both at record low since he became CE in 2005. Tsang's rating is in fact at record low since POP began to measure his popularity in April 1997.


  • However, if we use the sub-sample of July 16 as the base, and compared the figures to those of July 14 to 15, we can see that Tsang's popularity has in fact increased significantly immediately after he announced the relief package. This shows the positive effect of the package. If we compare the July 16 sub-sample figures with those registered in July 2 to 3, we can see that the overall effect is slight, because CE's popularity was going down between early and mid-July.


  • As for the popularity of the SAR government, compared to one month ago, the figures are still falling. However, if we use the July 16 sub-sample as the base, then the downward trend seems to have stopped.


Despite government's tremendous effort in delivering relief measures on the economic front, there is still no surprise in the popularity of the CE and the SAR government, after their big plunge over the past two months. There must be some kind of problems hidden deep in its governance culture. It is high time that the CE and all government think tanks search for better answers, beyond making reference to personal gains and losses.

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 July 29, 2008, Tuesday, between 1pm and 2pm, when the latest results of subjective freedom indicators will be released.

POP will also follow the rhythm of the WorldPublicOpinion.org (WPO) to globally release the Chinese versions of WPO's press releases regularly, via our "World Public Opinion Platform" accessible through our POP Site and the "Hong Kong People's Opinion Platform" at http://www.hkpop.hk.

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

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, October 30, November 27 and December 28, 2007, January 22, March 25, April 22, as well as June 24, 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.


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