POP releases popularities of CE and SAR Government and Public Sentiment Index

 Press Release on May 26, 2020

POP releases popularities of CE and SAR Government
and Public Sentiment Index

Special Announcement

The predecessor of Hong Kong Public Opinion Program (HKPOP) was The Public Opinion Programme at The University of Hong Kong (HKUPOP). “POP” in this release can refer to HKPOP or its predecessor HKUPOP.

Abstract

POP successfully interviewed 1,001 Hong Kong residents by random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers in mid-May. Our survey shows that the popularity rating of CE Carrie Lam now stands at 28.3 marks. Her net popularity is negative 54 percentage points. Both figures have not changed much from half a month ago. The latest net satisfaction of the HKSAR Government stands at negative 49 percentage points while the net trust value is negative 36 percentage points. Both figures stay more or less the same as last month. People’s net satisfaction rates with the current livelihood, economic and political conditions are negative 61, negative 66 and negative 86 percentage points respectively. Among them, the net satisfaction rate of economic condition has registered a record low since 2003, while that of political condition has plunged by 11 percentage points from last month and registered all-time low since records began in 1992. As for the PSI, the latest figure is 50.8, down by 5.8 points from early May. The effective response rate of the survey is 55.6%. The maximum sampling error of percentages is +/-4%, that of net values is +/-7% and that of ratings is +/-2.1 at 95% confidence level.

Contact Information

Date of survey : 19-21/5/2020
Survey method : Random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers
Target population : Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong residents aged 18 or above
Sample size[1] : 1,001 (including 500 landline and 501 mobile samples)
Effective response rate[2] : 55.6%
Sampling error[3] : Sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4%, that of net values not more than +/-7% and that of ratings not more than +/-2.1 at 95% conf. level
Weighting method : Rim-weighted according to figures provided by the Census and Statistics Department. The gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population came from “Mid-year population for 2019”, while the educational attainment (highest level attended) distribution and economic activity status distribution came from “Women and Men in Hong Kong – Key Statistics (2019 Edition)”.

[1]     This figure is the total sample size of the survey. Some questions may only involve a subsample, the size of which can be found in the tables below.

[2]     Before September 2017, “overall response rate” was used to report surveys’ contact information. Starting from September 2017, “effective response rate” was used. In July 2018, POP further revised the calculation of effective response rate. Thus, the response rates before and after the change cannot be directly compared.

[3]     All error figures in this release are calculated at 95% confidence level. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times with different random samples, we would expect 95 times having the population parameter within the respective error margins calculated. Because of sampling errors, when quoting percentages, journalists should refrain from reporting decimal places, whereas one decimal place can be used when quoting rating figures.

Popularity of CE and SAR Government

Recent popularity figures of CE Carrie Lam are summarized as follows:

Date of survey 27/2-3/3/20 17-20/3/20 30/3-2/4/20 14-17/4/20 4-6/5/20 19-21/5/20 Latest change
Sample size 1,015 1,004 1,005 1,005 1,004 1,001
Response rate 67.1% 62.9% 66.7% 64.5% 62.5% 55.6%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Rating of CE Carrie Lam 22.6[4] 22.3 25.5[4] 27.7 27.9 28.3+/-2.1 +0.4
Vote of confidence in
CE Carrie Lam
13%[4] 13% 16% 18% 17% 19+/-2% +1%
Vote of no confidence in
CE Carrie Lam
80% 77% 75% 72% 73% 73+/-3%
Net approval rate -66%[4] -64% -60% -54% -56% -54+/-5% +2%

[4]     The difference between the figure and the result from the previous survey has gone beyond the sampling error at 95% confidence level, meaning that the change is statistically significant prima facie. However, whether the difference is statistically significant is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful, and different weighting methods could have been applied in different surveys.

Recent popularity figures of the HKSAR Government are summarized as follows:

Date of survey 13-18/12/19 16-21/1/20 17-19/2/20 17-20/3/20 14-17/4/20 19-21/5/20 Latest change
Sample size[5] 646 597 620 613 624 593
Response rate 61.6% 69.7% 64.6% 62.9% 64.5% 55.6%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Satisfaction rate of SARG performance[6] 14% 15% 9%[7] 17%[7] 21% 19+/-3% -2%
Dissatisfaction rate of SARG performance[6] 76% 75% 83%[7] 68%[7] 68% 67+/-4%
Net satisfaction rate -62% -60% -74%[7] -51%[7] -47% -49+/-6% -2%
Mean value[6] 1.8 1.8 1.6[7] 2.0[7] 2.0 2.0+/-0.1

[5]     Before March 2020, weighted count was used to report subsample size. Starting from March 2020, raw count was used instead.

[6]     Collapsed from a 5-point scale. The mean value is calculated by quantifying all individual responses into 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 marks according to their degree of positive level, where 1 is the lowest and 5 the highest, and then calculate the sample mean.

[7]     The difference between the figure and the result from the previous survey has gone beyond the sampling error at 95% confidence level, meaning that the change is statistically significant prima facie. However, whether the difference is statistically significant is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful, and different weighting methods could have been applied in different surveys.

Recent figures regarding people’s trust in the HKSAR Government are summarized as follows:

Date of survey 13-18/12/19 16-21/1/20 17-19/2/20 17-20/3/20 14-17/4/20 19-21/5/20 Latest change
Sample size[8] 618 641 616 622 664 616
Response rate 61.6% 69.7% 64.6% 62.9% 64.5% 55.6%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Trust in HKSAR Government[9] 25% 19%[10] 14%[10] 25%[10] 29% 27+/-4% -1%
Distrust in HKSAR Government[9] 63% 69%[10] 76%[10] 62%[10] 60% 63+/-4% +3%
Net trust -39% -50%[10] -62%[10] -37%[10] -32% -36+/-7% -4%
Mean value[9] 2.2 2.0[10] 1.8[10] 2.3[10] 2.3 2.2+/-0.1 -0.1

[8]     Before March 2020, weighted count was used to report subsample size. Starting from March 2020, raw count was used instead.

[9]     Collapsed from a 5-point scale. The mean value is calculated by quantifying all individual responses into 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 marks according to their degree of positive level, where 1 is the lowest and 5 the highest, and then calculate the sample mean.

[10]  The difference between the figure and the result from the previous survey has gone beyond the sampling error at 95% confidence level, meaning that the change is statistically significant prima facie. However, whether the difference is statistically significant is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful, and different weighting methods could have been applied in different surveys.

People’s recent appraisals of society’s conditions are summarized as follows:

Date of survey 13-18/12/19 16-21/1/20 17-19/2/20 17-20/3/20 14-17/4/20 19-21/5/20 Latest change
Sample size 1,046 866 1,008 1,004 1,005 1,001
Response rate 61.6% 69.7% 64.6% 62.9% 64.5% 55.6%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Current livelihood condition:
Satisfaction rate[11]
14% 17% 9%[12] 16%[12] 14% 12+/-2% -3%
Current livelihood condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[11]
68% 68% 79%[12] 67%[12] 70% 73+/-3% +3%
Net satisfaction rate -53% -52% -69%[12] -51%[12] -56% -61+/-4% -6%
Mean value[11] 2.1 2.1 1.8[12] 2.1[12] 2.0 1.9+/-0.1 -0.1[12]
Current economic condition:
Satisfaction rate[11]
17% 16% 9%[12] 12%[12] 11% 9+/-2% -2%
Current economic condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[11]
57% 63%[12] 73%[12] 70% 72% 75+/-3% +3%
Net satisfaction rate -40% -47%[12] -64%[12] -58%[12] -61% -66+/-4% -5%
Mean value[11] 2.4 2.2[12] 1.9[12] 2.1[12] 2.0 1.9+/-0.1 -0.1[12]
Current political condition:
Satisfaction rate[11]
3% 6%[12] 3%[12] 6%[12] 7% 3+/-1% -4%[12]
Current political condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[11]
88%[12] 85% 86% 80%[12] 81% 88+/-2% +7%[12]
Net satisfaction rate -84%[12] -79%[12] -83% -74%[12] -74% -86+/-3% -11%[12]
Mean value[11] 1.4 1.5 1.4 1.6[12] 1.6 1.4+/-0.0 -0.2[12]

[11]  Collapsed from a 5-point scale. The mean value is calculated by quantifying all individual responses into 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 marks according to their degree of positive level, where 1 is the lowest and 5 the highest, and then calculate the sample mean.

[12]  The difference between the figure and the result from the previous survey has gone beyond the sampling error at 95% confidence level, meaning that the change is statistically significant prima facie. However, whether the difference is statistically significant is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful, and different weighting methods could have been applied in different surveys.

Our latest survey shows that the popularity rating of CE Carrie Lam now stands at 28.3 marks. Her approval rate is 19%, disapproval rate 73%, giving a net popularity of negative 54 percentage points. All popularity figures have not changed much from half a month ago.

Regarding the HKSAR Government, the latest satisfaction rate is 19%, whereas 67% were dissatisfied, thus net satisfaction stands at negative 49 percentage points. The mean score is 2.0, meaning close to “quite dissatisfied” in general. Regarding people’s trust in the HKSAR Government, 27% of the respondents expressed trust, 63% expressed distrust. The net trust value is negative 36 percentage points. The mean score is 2.2, meaning close to “quite distrust” in general. All of these figures have not changed much from a month ago.

As for people’s satisfaction with the current livelihood, economic and political conditions, the latest satisfaction rates are 12%, 9% and 3% respectively, while the net satisfaction rates are negative 61, negative 66 and negative 86 percentage points respectively. The mean scores of livelihood condition and economic condition are both 1.9, meaning close to “quite dissatisfied” in general; that of political condition is 1.4, meaning between “quite dissatisfied” and “very dissatisfied” in general. Among these, the net satisfaction rate of economic condition has registered a record low since 2003, while that of political condition has plunged from last month and registered all-time low since records began in 1992.

Public Sentiment Index

The Public Sentiment Index (PSI) compiled by POP aims at quantifying Hong Kong people’s sentiments, in order to explain and predict the likelihood of collective behaviour. PSI comprises 2 components: one being Government Appraisal (GA) Score and the other being Society Appraisal (SA) Score. GA refers to people’s appraisal of society’s governance while SA refers to people’s appraisal of the social environment. Both GA and SA scores are compiled from a respective of 4 and 6 opinion survey figures. All PSI, GA and SA scores range between 0 to 200, with 100 meaning normal.

The chart of PSI, GA and SA are shown below:

Latest figure Public Sentiment Index
(PSI): 50.8 (-5.8)
Government Appraisal
(GA): 60.9 (-1.8)
Society Appraisal
(SA): 43.7 (-8.6)

Recent values of PSI, GA, SA and 10 fundamental figures are tabulated as follows:

Cut-off date 3/3/20 20/3/20 2/4/20 17/4/20 6/5/20 21/5/20 Latest change
Public Sentiment Index (PSI) 40.1 56.0 57.1 56.6 56.5 50.8 -5.8
Government Appraisal (GA) 45.1 58.2 60.2 62.8 62.8 60.9 -1.8
Rating of CE 22.6 22.3 25.5 27.7 27.9 28.3 +0.4
Net approval rate of CE -66% -64% -60% -54% -56% -54% +2%
Mean value of people’s satisfaction with SARG 1.6[16] 2.0 2.0[16] 2.0 2.0[16] 2.0
Mean value of people’s trust in SARG 1.8[16] 2.3 2.3[16] 2.3 2.3[16] 2.2 -0.1
Society Appraisal (SA) 40.5[16] 55.9 55.9[16] 52.2 52.2[16] 43.7 -8.6
People’s satisfaction with political condition 1.4[16] 1.6 1.6[16] 1.6 1.6[16] 1.4 -0.2
Weighting index of political condition 0.34[16] 0.34[16] 0.34[16] 0.34[16] 0.34[16] 0.34[16]
People’s satisfaction with economic condition 1.9[16] 2.1 2.1[16] 2.0 2.0[16] 1.9 -0.1
Weighting index of economic condition 0.32[16] 0.32[16] 0.32[16] 0.32[16] 0.32[16] 0.32[16]
People’s satisfaction with livelihood condition 1.8[16] 2.1 2.1[16] 2.0 2.0[16] 1.9 -0.1
Weighting index of livelihood condition 0.34[16] 0.34[16] 0.34[16] 0.34[16] 0.34[16] 0.34[16]

[13]  POP will adopt the latest published figures when there are no respective updates.

As for the meaning of the score values, please refer to the following:

Score value Percentile Score value Percentile
140-200 Highest 1% 0-60 Lowest 1%
125 Highest 5% 75 Lowest 5%
120 Highest 10% 80 Lowest 10%
110 Highest 25% 90 Lowest 25%
100 being normal level, meaning half above half below

The latest PSI stands at 50.8, down by 5.8 points from early May. It can be considered as among the worst 1% across the past 20 years or so. Among the two component scores of PSI, the Government Appraisal (GA) Score that reflects people’s appraisal of society’s governance decreases by 1.8 points to 60.9, whereas the Society Appraisal (SA) Score that reflects people’s appraisal of the social environment even decreases by 8.6 points to 43.7. They can both be considered as among the worst 1% across the past 20 years or so.

Opinion Daily

In 2007, POP started collaborating with Wisers Information Limited whereby Wisers supplies to POP a record of significant events of that day according to the research method designed by POP. These daily entries would then become “Opinion Daily” after they are verified by POP.

For some of the polling items covered in this press release, the previous survey was conducted from 14 to 17 April, 2020 while this survey was conducted from 19 to 21 May, 2020. 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.

21/5/20 National People’s Congress will deliberate on national security law in Hong Kong.
19/5/20 Unemployment rate in Hong Kong rises to 5.2%.
18/5/20 Starry Lee Wai-king is elected the chairperson of the House Committee of the Legislative Council.
16/5/20 Two managers of liberal studies resign from the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority.
15/5/20 Independent Police Complaints Council releases a report saying there is no evidence of casualties in the Prince Edward MTR incident on August 31.
13/5/20 Two local infections with coronavirus end Hong Kong’s 23-day streak of no local transmission.
12/5/20 The government relaxes eligibility criteria to the Wage Subsidy Scheme.
11/5/20 Ocean Park seeks $5.4 billion government bailout to avoid shut down.
8/5/20 Eleven democrats get thrown out after conflicts occur in a meeting of the House Committee of the Legislative Council.
4/5/20 Hong Kong’s GDP drops by 8.9% year-on-year in the first quarter.
3/5/20 The government will distribute reusable masks.
2/5/20 Police finds explosives at an abandoned school.
1/5/20 People gather in multiple districts.
28/4/20 The government announces that cross-boundary students and certain business travelers can be exempted from quarantine.
24/4/20 The House Committee of the Legislative Council continues the election of chairman.
21/4/20 The government announces the appointment of five Directors of Bureaux.
21/4/20 The Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office issues multiple statements to criticize Dennis Kwok.
20/4/20 Unemployment rate in Hong Kong rises to 4.2%.
18/4/20 15 pan-democrats including Martin Lee and Jimmy Lai are arrested.
15/4/20 Director of the Liaison Office Luo Huining says Hong Kong needs to safeguard national security.
14/4/20 Carrie Lam claims the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office and the Liaison Office did not interfere in Hong Kong affairs.

Data Analysis

Our survey shows that the popularity rating of CE Carrie Lam now stands at 28.3 marks. Her net popularity is negative 54 percentage points. Both figures have not changed much from half a month ago. The latest net satisfaction of the HKSAR Government stands at negative 49 percentage points while the net trust value is negative 36 percentage points. Both figures stay more or less the same as last month. People’s net satisfaction rates with the current livelihood, economic and political conditions are negative 61, negative 66 and negative 86 percentage points respectively. Among them, the net satisfaction rate of economic condition has registered a record low since 2003, while that of political condition has plunged 11 percentage points from last month and registered all-time low since records began in 1992.

As for the PSI, the latest figure is 50.8, down by 5.8 points from early May.

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