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

Press Release on September 29, 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 1,013 Hong Kong residents by random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers in late September. Our survey shows that the popularity rating of CE Carrie Lam now stands at 27.5 marks. Her net popularity is negative 53 percentage points. These figures have not changed much from half a month ago. The latest net satisfaction of the HKSAR Government stands at negative 46 percentage points while the net trust value is negative 28 percentage points. People’s net satisfaction rates with the current livelihood, economic and political conditions are negative 51, negative 57 and negative 65 percentage points respectively. All these figures stay more or less the same as last month. As for the PSI, the latest figure is 60.8, up by 3.0 points from early September. The effective response rate of the survey is 61.5%. The maximum sampling error of percentages is +/-4%, that of net values is +/-6% and that of ratings is +/-2.0 at 95% confidence level.

Contact Information

Date of survey : 21-24/9/2020
Survey method : Random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers
Target population : Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong residents aged 18 or above
Sample size[1] : 1,013 (including 502 landline and 511 mobile samples)
Effective response rate : 61.5%
Sampling error[2] : Sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4%, that of net values not more than +/-6% and that of ratings not more than +/-2.0 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 6-9/7/20 20-24/7/20 3-6/8/20 17-20/8/20 31/8-4/9/20 21-24/9/20 Latest change
Sample size 1,001 1,029 1,001 1,020 1,007 1,013
Response rate 52.4% 62.5% 64.4% 60.9% 58.4% 61.5%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Rating of CE Carrie Lam 29.0 28.9 26.9 26.8 28.1 27.5+/-2.0 -0.5
Vote of confidence in
CE Carrie Lam
23% 18%[3] 19% 24%[3] 21% 17+/-2% -3%
Vote of no confidence in
CE Carrie Lam
69% 72% 72% 70% 69% 71+/-3% +2%
Net approval rate -46% -53% -54% -46%[3] -48% -53+/-5% -5%

[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 14-17/4/20 19-21/5/20 15-18/6/20 20-24/7/20 17-20/8/20 21-24/9/20 Latest change
Sample size 624-664 593-616 620-629 611-615 587-677 589-695
Response rate 64.5% 55.6% 54.1% 62.5% 60.9% 61.5%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Satisfaction rate of SARG performance[4] 21% 19% 17% 19% 20% 17+/-3% -3%
Dissatisfaction rate of SARG performance[4] 68% 67% 71% 65%[5] 65% 63+/-4% -2%
Net satisfaction rate -47% -49% -54% -46% -45% -46+/-6%
Mean value[4] 2.0 2.0 1.9 2.0 2.1 2.1+/-0.1
Trust in HKSAR Government[4] 29% 27% 27% 25% 30% 27+/-3% -4%
Distrust in HKSAR Government[4] 60% 63% 59% 61% 59% 55+/-4% -4%
Net trust -32% -36% -32% -35% -29% -28+/-6% +1%
Mean value[4] 2.3 2.2 2.3 2.2 2.4 2.4+/-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 14-17/4/20 19-21/5/20 15-18/6/20 20-24/7/20 17-20/8/20 21-24/9/20 Latest change
Sample size 1,005 1,001 1,002 1,029 1,020 1,013
Response rate 64.5% 55.6% 54.1% 62.5% 60.9% 61.5%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Current livelihood condition:
Satisfaction rate[6]
14% 12% 12% 15%[7] 12%[7] 13+/-2% +1%
Current livelihood condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[6]
70% 73% 66%[7] 66% 70% 64+/-3% -5%[7]
Net satisfaction rate -56% -61% -54%[7] -51% -57%[7] -51+/-4% +6%
Mean value[6] 2.0 1.9[7] 2.1[7] 2.1 2.0 2.1+/-0.1 +0.1
Current economic condition:
Satisfaction rate[6]
11% 9% 12% 13% 10% 12+/-2% +1%
Current economic condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[6]
72% 75% 64%[7] 64% 71%[7] 69+/-3% -3%
Net satisfaction rate -61% -66% -52%[7] -52% -61%[7] -57+/-4% +4%
Mean value[6] 2.0 1.9[7] 2.2[7] 2.1 2.0[7] 2.1+/-0.1 +0.1
Current political condition:
Satisfaction rate[6]
7% 3%[7] 3% 8%[7] 9% 9+/-2%
Current political condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[6]
81% 88%[7] 84%[7] 78%[7] 77% 73+/-3% -4%[7]
Net satisfaction rate -74% -86%[7] -81%[7] -70%[7] -68% -65+/-4% +4%
Mean value[6] 1.6 1.4[7] 1.5[7] 1.6[7] 1.7 1.7+/-0.1 +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 27.5 marks. Her approval rate is 17%, disapproval rate 71%, giving a net popularity of negative 53 percentage points. All popularity figures have not changed much from half a month ago.

Regarding the HKSAR Government, the latest satisfaction rate is 17%, whereas 63% were dissatisfied, thus net satisfaction stands at negative 46 percentage points. The mean score is 2.1, meaning close to “quite dissatisfied” in general. Regarding people’s trust in the HKSAR Government, 27% of the respondents expressed trust, 55% expressed distrust. The net trust value is negative 28 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 13%, 12% and 9% respectively, while the net satisfaction rates are negative 51, negative 57 and negative 65 percentage points respectively. The mean scores of livelihood condition and economic condition are both 2.1, meaning close to “quite dissatisfied” in general; that of political condition is 1.7, meaning between “quite dissatisfied” and “very dissatisfied” in general. The figures above are more or less the same as last month.

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): 60.8 (+3.0)
Government Appraisal
(GA): 65.2 (+0.1)
Society Appraisal
(SA): 57.4 (+5.2)

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

Cut-off date 9/7/20 24/7/20 6/8/20 20/8/20 4/9/20 24/9/20 Latest change
Public Sentiment Index (PSI) 59.0 59.1 58.5 57.6 57.9 60.8 +3.0
Government Appraisal (GA) 62.8 62.6 61.6 64.8 65.2 65.2 +0.1
Rating of CE 29.0 28.9 26.9 26.8 28.1 27.5 -0.5
Net approval rate of CE -46% -53% -54% -46% -48% -53% -5%
Mean value of people’s satisfaction with SARG 1.9[11] 2.0 2.0[11] 2.1 2.1 2.1
Mean value of people’s trust in SARG 2.3[11] 2.2 2.2[11] 2.4 2.4 2.4
Society Appraisal (SA) 56.6[11] 56.9 56.9[11] 52.2 52.2[11] 57.4 +5.2
People’s satisfaction with political condition 1.5[11] 1.6 1.6[11] 1.7 1.7[11] 1.7 +0.1
Weighting index of political condition 0.33 0.33[11] 0.33[11] 0.33[11] 0.33[11] 0.33[11]
People’s satisfaction with economic condition 2.2[11] 2.1 2.1[11] 2.0 2.0[11] 2.1 +0.1
Weighting index of economic condition 0.33 0.33[11] 0.33[11] 0.33[11] 0.33[11] 0.33[11]
People’s satisfaction with livelihood condition 2.1[11] 2.1 2.1[11] 2.0 2.0[11] 2.1 +0.1
Weighting index of livelihood condition 0.35 0.35[11] 0.35[11] 0.35[11] 0.35[11] 0.35[11]

[8]     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 60.8, up by 3.0 points from early September. 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 0.1 point to 65.2, whereas the Society Appraisal (SA) Score that reflects people’s appraisal of the social environment increases by 5.2 points to 57.4. 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 20 August, 2020 while this survey was conducted from 21 to 24 September, 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.

23/9/20 The government announces that Hong Kong Disneyland’s option to purchase a potential 60-hectare expansion site will not be extended.
22/9/20 Police changes the definition of “media representatives” under the Police General Orders.
21/9/20 Stock price of HSBC Holdings hits 25-year low.
14/9/20 The Universal Community Testing Programme ends with 1.78 million people participated and 32 new cases found.
12/9/20 Twelve Hong Kong youngsters have been detained in Shenzhen for over two weeks. Their family members hold a press conference.
11/9/20 The jury in the Coroner’s Court returns an open verdict in the death of Chan Yin-lam.
11/9/20 Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon announce they will not apply for the second round of Employment Support Scheme.
10/9/20 Police arrests 15 people on suspicion of defrauding and money laundering by trading Next Digital shares.
8/9/20 The government further relaxes anti-epidemic measures.
3/9/20 The Universal Community Testing Programme locates two new cases among about 128,000 tests conducted.
2/9/20 The government relaxes anti-epidemic measures.
1/9/20 About 126,000 people have taken the test on the first day of the Universal Community Testing Programme.
27/8/20 China Coast Guard intercepted a speedboat to Taiwan on August 23 and arrested 12 young Hong Kong people.
26/8/20 Police arrests 13 people who were not “people in white” for rioting in the 7.21 incident.
25/8/20 The government relaxes anti-epidemic measures.
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.

Data Analysis

Our survey shows that the popularity rating of CE Carrie Lam now stands at 27.5 marks. Her net popularity is negative 53 percentage points. These figures have not changed much from half a month ago. The latest net satisfaction of the HKSAR Government stands at negative 46 percentage points while the net trust value is negative 28 percentage points. People’s net satisfaction rates with the current livelihood, economic and political conditions are negative 51, negative 57 and negative 65 percentage points respectively. All these figures stay more or less the same as last month.

As for the PSI, the latest figure is 60.8, up by 3.0 points from early September.

Detailed Findings

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