POP releases popularities of CE and SAR Government, trust and confidence indicators and Public Sentiment Index

Press Release on August 25, 2020

POP releases popularities of CE and SAR Government,
trust and confidence indicators 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 1,020 Hong Kong residents by random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers in the second half of August. Our survey shows that the popularity rating of CE Carrie Lam now stands at 26.8 marks. Her net popularity is negative 46 percentage points, registering a significant increase of 8 percentage points since half a month ago. The latest net satisfaction of the HKSAR Government stands at negative 45 percentage points while the net trust value is negative 29 percentage points. These figures are more or less the same as last month. People’s net satisfaction rates with the current livelihood, economic and political conditions are negative 57, negative 61 and negative 68 percentage points respectively. People’s net satisfaction rates with the livelihood and economic conditions have dropped significantly from a month ago. Regarding people’s trust in governments, the net trust in the HKSAR Government, the Beijing Central Government and the Taiwan Government are negative 29, negative 29 and positive 2 percentage points respectively. Net trust in the Beijing Central Government has dramatically rebounded from the historical low registered half a year ago. As for the confidence indicators, net confidence in the future of China stands at negative 4 percentage points. On the other hand, net confidence in the future of Hong Kong and in “one country, two systems” have significantly rebounded from the historical lows registered half a year ago to negative 19 and negative 26 percentage points respectively. As for the PSI, the latest figure is 57.6, down by 0.9 point from early August. The effective response rate of the survey is 60.9%. The maximum sampling error of percentages is +/-4%, that of net values is +/-8% and that of ratings is +/-2.1 at 95% confidence level.

Contact Information

Date of survey : 17-20/8/2020
Survey method : Random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers
Target population : Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong residents aged 18 or above
Sample size[1] : 1,020 (including 498 landline and 522 mobile samples)
Effective response rate : 60.9%
Sampling error[2] : Sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4%, that of net values not more than +/-8% 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]     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 1-4/6/20 15-18/6/20 6-9/7/20 20-24/7/20 3-6/8/20 17-20/8/20 Latest change
Sample size 1,002 1,002 1,001 1,029 1,001 1,020
Response rate 64.3% 54.1% 52.4% 62.5% 64.4% 60.9%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Rating of CE Carrie Lam 27.8 29.0 29.0 28.9 26.9 26.8+/-2.1 -0.2
Vote of confidence in
CE Carrie Lam
18% 22% 23% 18%[3] 19% 24+/-3% +5%[3]
Vote of no confidence in
CE Carrie Lam
72% 70% 69% 72% 72% 70+/-3% -3%
Net approval rate -54% -48% -46% -53% -54% -46+/-5% +8%[3]

[3]     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 17-20/3/20 14-17/4/20 19-21/5/20 15-18/6/20 20-24/7/20 17-20/8/20 Latest change
Sample size 613-622 624-664 593-616 620-629 611-615 587-677
Response rate 62.9% 64.5% 55.6% 54.1% 62.5% 60.9%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Satisfaction rate of SARG performance[4] 17%[5] 21% 19% 17% 19% 20+/-3% +1%
Dissatisfaction rate of SARG performance[4] 68%[5] 68% 67% 71% 65%[5] 65+/-4%
Net satisfaction rate -51%[5] -47% -49% -54% -46% -45+/-7% +1%
Mean value[4] 2.0[5] 2.0 2.0 1.9 2.0 2.1+/-0.1
Trust in HKSAR Government[4] 25%[5] 29% 27% 27% 25% 30+/-4% +5%
Distrust in HKSAR Government[4] 62%[5] 60% 63% 59% 61% 59+/-4% -2%
Net trust -37%[5] -32% -36% -32% -35% -29+/-7% +6%
Mean value[4] 2.3[5] 2.3 2.2 2.3 2.2 2.4+/-0.1 +0.1

[4]     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.

[5]     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 17-20/3/20 14-17/4/20 19-21/5/20 15-18/6/20 20-24/7/20 17-20/8/20 Latest change
Sample size 1,004 1,005 1,001 1,002 1,029 1,020
Response rate 62.9% 64.5% 55.6% 54.1% 62.5% 60.9%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Current livelihood condition:
Satisfaction rate[8]
16%[7] 14% 12% 12% 15%[7] 12+/-2% -3%[7]
Current livelihood condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[8]
67%[7] 70% 73% 66%[7] 66% 70+/-3% +4%
Net satisfaction rate -51%[7] -56% -61% -54%[7] -51% -57+/-4% -7%[7]
Mean value[8] 2.1[7] 2.0 1.9[7] 2.1[7] 2.1 2.0+/-0.1 -0.1
Current economic condition:
Satisfaction rate[8]
12%[7] 11% 9% 12% 13% 10+/-2% -3%
Current economic condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[8]
70% 72% 75% 64%[7] 64% 71+/-3% +7%[7]
Net satisfaction rate -58%[7] -61% -66% -52%[7] -52% -61+/-4% -9%[7]
Mean value[8] 2.1[7] 2.0 1.9[7] 2.2[7] 2.1 2.0+/-0.1 -0.1[7]
Current political condition:
Satisfaction rate[8]
6%[7] 7% 3%[7] 3% 8%[7] 9+/-2% +1%
Current political condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[8]
80%[7] 81% 88%[7] 84%[7] 78%[7] 77+/-3% -1%
Net satisfaction rate -74%[7] -74% -86%[7] -81%[7] -70%[7] -68+/-4% +1%
Mean value[8] 1.6[7] 1.6 1.4[7] 1.5[7] 1.6[7] 1.7+/-0.1

[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.

Our latest survey shows that the popularity rating of CE Carrie Lam now stands at 26.8 marks, which has not changed much from half a month ago. Her approval rate is 24%, disapproval rate 70%, giving a net popularity of negative 46 percentage points, registering a significant increase of 8 percentage points since half a month ago.

Regarding the HKSAR Government, the latest satisfaction rate is 20%, whereas 65% were dissatisfied, thus net satisfaction stands at negative 45 percentage points. The mean score is 2.1, meaning close to “quite dissatisfied” in general. Regarding people’s trust in the HKSAR Government, 30% of the respondents expressed trust, 59% expressed distrust. The net trust value is negative 29 percentage points. The mean score is 2.4, meaning between “quite distrust” and “half-half” in general. The figures above are more or less the same as last month.

As for people’s satisfaction with the current livelihood, economic and political conditions, the latest satisfaction rates are 12%, 10% and 9% respectively, while the net satisfaction rates are negative 57, negative 61 and negative 68 percentage points respectively. The mean scores of livelihood condition and economic condition are both 2.0, meaning close to “quite dissatisfied” in general; that of political condition is 1.7, meaning between “quite dissatisfied” and “very dissatisfied” in general. People’s net satisfaction rates with the livelihood and economic conditions have dropped significantly from a month ago.

Trust and Confidence Indicators

Recent popularity figures of SAR, Beijing Central and Taiwan Governments and people’s confidence in the future as well as “one country, two systems” are summarized below:

Date of survey 14-17/4/20 19-21/5/20 15-18/6/20 20-24/7/20 17-20/8/20 Latest change
Sample size 664 616 620 611 677
Response rate 64.5% 55.6% 54.1% 62.5% 60.9%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
(Repeated listing)    
Trust in HKSAR Government[8] 29% 27% 27% 25% 30+/-4% +5%
Distrust in HKSAR Government[8] 60% 63% 59% 61% 59+/-4% -2%
Net trust -32% -36% -32% -35% -29+/-7% +6%
Mean value[8] 2.3 2.2 2.3 2.2 2.4+/-0.1 +0.1
Date of survey 3-6/9/18 28/2-5/3/19 15-20/8/19 17-19/2/20 17-20/8/20 Latest change
Sample size 515-538 613-674 603-633 575-612 597-644
Response rate 50.4% 72.2% 68.5% 64.6% 60.9%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Trust in Beijing Government[8] 40%[9] [10] 33%[9] 23%[9] 20% 28+/-4% +9%[9]
Distrust in Beijing Government[8] 40%[9] 48%[9] 63%[9] 63% 58+/-4% -5%
Net trust 0%[9] -15%[9] -40%[9] -43% -29+/-7% +14%[9]
Mean value[8] 2.9[9] 2.7[9] 2.2[9] 2.1 2.4+/-0.1 +0.3[9]
Trust in Taiwan Government[8] 22% 23% 25% 38%[9] 35+/-4% -3%
Distrust in Taiwan Government[8] 45% 40% 37% 28%[9] 34+/-4% +6%[9]
Net trust -23%[9] [10] -17% -12% 10%[9] 2+/-7% -9%
Mean value[8] 2.5[9] [10] 2.6 2.7 3.1[9] 2.9+/-0.1 -0.2[9]
Confidence in HK’s future 46% 39%[9] 40% 26%[9] 38+/-4% +12%[9]
No-confidence in HK’s future 47% 55%[9] 52% 70%[9] 57+/-4% -13%[9]
Net confidence -1% -16%[9] -12% -44%[9] -19+/-8% +25%[9]
Confidence in China’s future 62% 62% 42%[9] 39% 43+/-4% +4%
No-confidence in China’s future 31% 32% 50%[9] 52% 48+/-4% -4%
Net confidence 30% 30% -8%[9] -13% -4+/-8% +8%
Confidence in “one country,
two systems”
45% 41% 34%[9] 27%[9] 35+/-4% +8%[9]
No-confidence in “one country,
two systems”
49% 55%[9] 62%[9] 68%[9] 61+/-4% -7%[9]
Net confidence -4% -14% -28%[9] -41%[9] -26+/-8% +15%[9]

[8]     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.

[9]     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.

[10]  The difference between the figure and the result from the previous survey has gone beyond the sampling error at 95% confidence level because of a change in the weighting method. If the previous weighting method was used, the difference would not have gone beyond the sampling error.

Regarding people’s trust in governments, 30% of the respondents trust the HKSAR Government, 28% trust the Beijing Central Government, and 35% trust the Taiwan Government. The net trust values are negative 29, negative 29 and positive 2 percentage points, while the mean scores are 2.4, 2.4 and 2.9 respectively, with the former two meaning between “quite distrust” and “half-half” in general and the latter meaning close to “half-half” in general. Net trust in the Beijing Central Government has dramatically rebounded from the historical low registered half a year ago.

As for the confidence indicators, 43% expressed confidence in the future of China while net confidence stands at negative 4 percentage points. On the other hand, 38% and 35% expressed confidence in the future of Hong Kong and in “one country, two systems” respectively, while net confidence have also significantly rebounded from the historical lows registered half a year ago to negative 19 and negative 26 percentage points respectively.

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): 57.6 (-0.9)
Government Appraisal
(GA): 64.8 (+3.2)
Society Appraisal
(SA): 52.2 (-4.8)

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

Cut-off date 4/6/20 18/6/20 9/7/20 24/7/20 6/8/20 20/8/20 Latest change
Public Sentiment Index (PSI) 50.6 58.9 59.0 59.1 58.5 57.6 -0.9
Government Appraisal (GA) 60.7 62.6 62.8 62.6 61.6 64.8 +3.2
Rating of CE 27.8 29.0 29.0 28.9 26.9 26.8 -0.2
Net approval rate of CE -54% -48% -46% -53% -54% -46% +8%
Mean value of people’s satisfaction with SARG 2.0[11] 1.9 1.9[11] 2.0 2.0[11] 2.1
Mean value of people’s trust in SARG 2.2[11] 2.3 2.3[11] 2.2 2.2[11] 2.4 +0.1
Society Appraisal (SA) 43.7[11] 56.5 56.6[11] 56.9 56.9[11] 52.2 -4.8
People’s satisfaction with political condition 1.4[11] 1.5 1.5[11] 1.6 1.6[11] 1.7
Weighting index of political condition 0.34[11] 0.34[11] 0.33 0.33[11] 0.33[11] 0.33[11]
People’s satisfaction with economic condition 1.9[11] 2.2 2.2[11] 2.1 2.1[11] 2.0 -0.1
Weighting index of economic condition 0.32[11] 0.32[11] 0.33 0.33[11] 0.33[11] 0.33[11]
People’s satisfaction with livelihood condition 1.9[11] 2.1 2.1[11] 2.1 2.1[11] 2.0 -0.1
Weighting index of livelihood condition 0.34[11] 0.34[11] 0.35 0.35[11] 0.35[11] 0.35[11]

[11]  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 57.6, down by 0.9 point from early August. 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 increases by 3.2 points to 64.8, whereas the Society Appraisal (SA) Score that reflects people’s appraisal of the social environment decreases by 4.8 points to 52.2. 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 17 to 19 February, 2020 while this survey was conducted from 17 to 20 August, 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.

19/8/20 Unemployment rate in Hong Kong rises to 6.1%.
18/8/20 The government announces the second round of Employment Support Scheme.
11/8/20 The NPCSC decides that the current Legislative Council shall continue to discharge duties for no less than one year.
10/8/20 Police searches Next Media and arrests Jimmy Lai, Agnes Chow and other people under national security law.
8/8/20 The Hong Kong government issues statement condemning US sanction on 11 Chinese or Hong Kong government officials.
7/8/20 The government announces mass voluntary coronavirus testing scheme.
6/8/20 The US expands the “Clean Network” to further limit Chinese technology firms.
1/8/20 The first team from the National Health Commission arrives in Hong Kong.
31/7/20 The government postpones the Legislative Council election for a year.
30/7/20 Nominations of 12 democrats for Legislative Council election are invalidated.
29/7/20 All-day dine-in ban takes effect, forcing people to eat in the streets.
28/7/20 HKU Council decides to dismiss Benny Tai with immediate effect.
27/7/20 The government tightens restrictions of group gatherings to 2 people and imposes all-day dine-in ban.
25/7/20 Hong Kong confirms 126 local infections with coronavirus disease, while over 100 patients are waiting to be admitted to hospital.
24/7/20 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers a speech on China policy, while China orders the US to close its consulate in Chengdu.
22/7/20 The US orders China to close its consulate in Houston within 72 hours.
19/7/20 The government announces that some civil servants will work from home and makes wearing of masks mandatory in indoor public places.
15/7/20 US President Donald Trump signs the Hong Kong Autonomy Act.
13/7/20 The government tightens restrictions of group gatherings to 4 people and imposes dine-in ban during nighttime.
6/7/20 The implementation rules for the national security law are gazetted by the government.
4/7/20 Nine books related to politics are taken off shelf in public libraries and put under review.
3/7/20 The Central Government and the SAR Government announce multiple personnel appointments concerning the national security law.
1/7/20 Ten people are arrested for allegedly violating the national security law in the July 1 protest.
30/6/20 The national security law is passed and comes into effect.
16/6/20 The government relaxes restrictions and allows group gatherings of up to 50 people.
15/6/20 The Central Government will have enforcement powers regarding the national security law.
12/6/20 The Central Government criticizes groups for organizing referendum for class boycott.
9/6/20 The government announces investment of $27.3 billion in Cathay Pacific Airways to avoid its collapse.
8/6/20 The government announces the arrangements for $10,000 cash payout.
4/6/20 June 4 vigils are held in various districts.
3/6/20 Vice-Premier of the State Council Han Zheng meets Carrie Lam.
29/5/20 Donald Trump announces new measures toward China and Hong Kong and says China has replaced one country, two systems with one country, one system.
28/5/20 National People’s Congress passes resolution to enact national security law in Hong Kong.
27/5/20 Over 360 people are arrested in protests against the National Anthem Bill and the national security law.
24/5/20 People rally against the national security law on Hong Kong Island. Over 180 people are arrested.
22/5/20 The Central Government will set up national security agencies in Hong Kong after implementation of national security law.
20/5/20 Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen is sworn into office.
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.
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.
28/4/20 The government announces that cross-boundary students and certain business travelers can be exempted from quarantine.
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.
13/4/20 The Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office and the Liaison Office criticize Legislative Councillor Dennis Kwok.
9/4/20 The government launches a subsidy scheme involving $80 billion to keep workers in employment.
8/4/20 The government announces relief measures involving over $130 billion to combat the pandemic.
1/4/20 The government orders karaoke lounges, mahjong parlors and nightclubs to close.
27/3/20 The government announces the ban on gathering with more than 4 people.
23/3/20 The government bans bars and restaurants from selling alcohol.
23/3/20 The government announces ban on non-residents arrivals at the airport from entering Hong Kong.
17/3/20 The government announces people entering Hong Kong from any foreign country will be put in a 14-day quarantine.
15/3/20 The government announces people entering Hong Kong from the UK and the US will be put in a 14-day quarantine.
8/3/20 Police arrests during midnight 17 people who are suspected of making explosives.
4/3/20 The first batch of government-chartered flights bring back Hong Kong people in Hubei.
29/2/20 US Department of State and some councillors express concern over the arrest of Jimmy Lai, Lee Cheuk-yan and Yeung Sum.
28/2/20 Police arrests Jimmy Lai, Lee Cheuk-yan and Yeung Sum.
26/2/20 Financial Secretary Paul Chan delivers the Budget.
19/2/20 The first batch of Hong Kong people on the cruise Diamond Princess return to Hong Kong by a charter flight.

Data Analysis

Our survey shows that the popularity rating of CE Carrie Lam now stands at 26.8 marks. Her net popularity is negative 46 percentage points, registering a significant increase of 8 percentage points since half a month ago. The latest net satisfaction of the HKSAR Government stands at negative 45 percentage points while the net trust value is negative 29 percentage points. These figures are more or less the same as last month. People’s net satisfaction rates with the current livelihood, economic and political conditions are negative 57, negative 61 and negative 68 percentage points respectively. People’s net satisfaction rates with the livelihood and economic conditions have dropped significantly from a month ago.

Regarding people’s trust in governments, the net trust in the HKSAR Government, the Beijing Central Government and the Taiwan Government are negative 29, negative 29 and positive 2 percentage points respectively. Net trust in the Beijing Central Government has dramatically rebounded from the historical low registered half a year ago. As for the confidence indicators, net confidence in the future of China stands at negative 4 percentage points. On the other hand, net confidence in the future of Hong Kong and in “one country, two systems” have significantly rebounded from the historical lows registered half a year ago to negative 19 and negative 26 percentage points respectively.

As for the PSI, the latest figure is 57.6, down by 0.9 point from early August.

Detailed Findings

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