HKU POP SITE releases the instant poll results on the BudgetBack

 
Press Release on February 26, 2009

| Abstract | Background | Latest Figures | Commentary | Next Release (Tentative) |
| Detailed Findings (Instant Poll of the 2009 Financial Budget/Popularity of Chief Executive)
| Detailed Findings (Popularity of Principal Officials
) |


Abstract

The Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong interviewed 1,015 Hong Kong people last night (25 February) by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers. The survey finds that based on those who understand the Budget, our survey finds that people's instant reaction to John Tsang's Second Budget is far from satisfactory, as satisfaction rate plunges 38 percentage points compared to last year, while satisfaction rating drops by almost 16 marks. Across the 12 Budgets after the handover, it only surpasses Antony Leung's Second Budget in 2003. FS John Tsang has obviously failed to boost people's confidence by his Budget. In terms of personal popularity, his support rating and approval rate have both dropped, which is completely different from last year. As for the popularity of CE Donald Tsang, his popularity has remained stable, which is also somewhat different from last year. Whether and how people's reaction will change after knowing more about the Budget will have to be revealed by our next survey. The sampling error of all percentages is between +/-3 and 4 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the sampling error of rating figures needs another calculation. 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 1,015 successful interviews, not 1,015 x 67.7% response rate. In the past, many media made this mistake.
* The maximum sampling error of all percentages is between +/-3 and 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 +/-1.6 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 second 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-2008. Herewith the contact information of various surveys:

Year of survey

Date of survey

Total sample size

Response rate

Sampling error of %*

2009

25/2/09

1,015

67.7%

+/-3%

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.

People's satisfaction figures with this year's Budget are summarized below together with the previous findings:

Date of survey

Sub-sample base#

Appraisal of Budget: Satisfaction rate**

Appraisal of Budget: Half-half

Appraisal of Budget: Dissatisfaction rate **

Satisfaction rating
of Budget

25/2/09

669

30% +/-4%

43% +/-4%

22% +/-3%

54.8 +/-1.5

27/2/08

811

68% +/-3%

21% +/-3%

6% +/-2%

70.6 +/-1.2

28/2/07

673

62% +/-4%

25% +/-3%

9% +/-2%

--

22/2/06

577

50% +/-4%

26% +/-4%

19% +/-3%

--

16/3/05

544

48% +/-4%

29% +/-4%

11% +/-3%

--

10/3/04

395

37% +/-5%

33% +/-5%

12% +/-3%

--

5/3/03

495

20% +/-4%

23% +/-4%

50% +/-4%

--

6/3/02

539

47% +/-4%

23% +/-4%

17% +/-3%

--

7-8/3/01

263

57% +/-6%

25% +/-5%

13% +/-4%

--

8/3/00

643

70% +/-4%

12% +/-3%

4% +/-2%

--

3/3/99

598

46% +/-4%

27% +/-4%

10% +/-2%

--

18/2/98

638

55% +/-4%

20% +/-3%

7% +/-2%

--

* 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 30% were satisfied with it, 22% were dissatisfied and 43% said "half-half" while the average rating registered for the Budget was 54.8 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 towards Hong Kong's future after FS John Tsang has delivered his Budget Talk. Results are as follows:

Date of survey

27/2/08

25/2/09

Latest Change

Sub-sample base^

925

863

--

Overall response rate

75.5%

67.7%

--

Increased

48% +/-3%

21% +/-3%

-27%#

Unchanged

41% +/-3%

46% +/-3%

+5%#

Decreased

4% +/-1%

28% +/-3%

+24%#

* 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.
^ Those respondents who said they had not heard of the Budget are excluded from the sub-sample. As the sub-sample is smaller, the sampling error increases correspondingly.
# Such changes have gone beyond the sampling errors at the 95% confidence level, meaning that they are statistically significant prima facie. However, whether numerical differences are statistically significant or not is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful.


Findings showed that excluding those who said they had not heard of the Budget, 21% said their confidence in the future of Hong Kong had increased, 46% opted for "no change", whilst 28% said their confidence had decreased.

Changes in the popularity figures of Financial Secretary John Tsang after the announcement of the Budget in both 2008 and 2009 are summarized as follows:

Year 2009

Date of survey

2-6/1/09

2-4/2/09

25/2/09*

Latest Change

Sample base

1,011

1,010

1,015**

--

Overall response rate

67.3%

73.7%

67.7%

--

Rating of FS John Tsang

53.2#

56.7#

54.9 +/-1.6

-1.8#

Vote of confidence in FS John Tsang

40%

47%#

43% +/-4%

-4%

Vote of no confidence in FS John Tsang

20%

15%#

15% +/-3%

--

Year 2008

Date of survey

2-3/1/08

1-5/2/08

27/2/08

Latest Change

Sample base

1,015

1,029

1,077**

--

Overall response rate

66.8%

66.0%

75.5%

--

Rating of FS John Tsang

54.1

56.0#

67.9 +/-1.5

+11.9#

Vote of confidence in FS John Tsang

35%

35%

58% +/-4%

+23%#

Vote of no confidence in FS John Tsang

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. When quoting these figures, journalists can state "sampling error of ratings not more than +/-1.6 and sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4% at 95% confidence level". The error margin of previous survey can be found at the POP Site.
**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 in 2009 were 591 and 590 respectively while those in 2008 were 529 and 526.
# Such changes have gone beyond the sampling errors at the 95% confidence level, meaning that they are statistically significant prima facie. However, whether numerical differences are statistically significant or not is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful.


The instant survey conducted last night showed that, the latest rating of FS John Tsang after his Budget Talk was 54.9 marks, with an approval and disapproval rate of 43% and 15% respectively.

Changes in the popularity figures of Chief Executive Donald Tsang after the announcement of the Budget in both 2008 and 2009 are summarized as follows:

Year 2009

Date of survey

2-4/2/09

16-18/2/09

25/2/09*

Latest Change

Sample base

1,010

1,001

1,015**

--

Overall response rate

73.7%

64.5%

67.7%

--

Rating of CE Donald Tsang

54.9#

54.4

53.6 +/-1.6

-0.8

Vote of confidence in CE Donald Tsang

42%

41%

42% +/-4%

+1%

Vote of no confidence in CE Donald Tsang

39%

37%

39% +/-4%

+2%

Year 2008

Date of survey

1-5/2/08

18-20/2/08

27/2/08

Latest Change

Sample base

1,029

1,037

1,077**

--

Overall response rate

66.0%

66.0%

75.5%

--

Rating of CE Donald Tsang

63.9

63.3

66.4 +/-1.4

+3.1#

Vote of confidence in CE Donald Tsang

60%#

56%#

60% +/-4%

+4%

Vote of no confidence in CE Donald Tsang

18%

19%

20% +/-4%

+1%

* 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. When quoting these figures, journalists can state "sampling error of ratings not more than +/-1.6 and sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4% at 95% confidence level". The error margin of previous survey can be found at the POP Site.
**Starting from 2006, these questions only uses sub-samples of the tracking surveys concerned. The sub-sample sizes of questions on CE's support rating and hypothetical voting in 2009 were 543 and 572 respectively while those in 2008 were 524 and 523 respectively.
# Such changes have gone beyond the sampling errors at the 95% confidence level, meaning that they are statistically significant prima facie. However, whether numerical differences are statistically significant or not is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful.


The instant survey also showed that, the latest rating of CE Donald Tsang after the Budget was 53.6 marks and 42% supported him as the Chief Executive while 39% held an opposite view.

Commentary

Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, "Based on those who understand the Budget, our survey finds that people's instant reaction to John Tsang's Second Budget is far from satisfactory, as satisfaction rate plunges 38 percentage points compared to last year, while satisfaction rating drops by almost 16 marks. Across the 12 Budgets after the handover, it only surpasses Antony Leung's Second Budget in 2003. FS John Tsang has obviously failed to boost people's confidence by his Budget. In terms of personal popularity, his support rating and approval rate have both dropped, which is completely different from last year. As for the popularity of CE Donald Tsang, his popularity has remained stable, which is also somewhat different from last year. Whether and how people's reaction will change after knowing more about the Budget will have to be revealed by our next survey."

Next Release (Tentative)

  • February 27, 2009 (Friday) 1pm to 2pm: Ratings of top 10 political groups

  • March 3, 2009 (Tuesday) 1pm to 2pm: Second Budget survey

  • March 5, 2009 (Thursday) 1pm to 2pm: Six trust and confidence indicators survey


| Abstract | Background | Latest Figures | Commentary | Next Release (Tentative) |
| Detailed Findings (Instant Poll of the 2009 Financial Budget/Popularity of Chief Executive)
| Detailed Findings (Popularity of Principal Officials
) |