POP releases popularities of CE and SAR Government, people’s appraisal of policy areas of the government and Public Sentiment Index

Press Release on December 1, 2020

POP releases popularities of CE and SAR Government,
people’s appraisal of policy areas of the 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 1,085 Hong Kong residents by random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers in late November. Our survey shows that the popularity rating of CE Carrie Lam now stands at 33.5 marks. Her net popularity is negative 45 percentage points. These figures have not changed much from half a month ago, but the rating has registered a new high since early June 2019 when the anti-extradition bill movement started. The latest net satisfaction of the HKSAR Government stands at negative 43 percentage points while the net trust value is negative 20 percentage points, up significantly by 15 percentage points, both net figures have registered new record high since May 2019. People’s net satisfaction rates with the current livelihood, political and economic conditions are negative 46, negative 50 and negative 53 percentage points respectively, all with significant increment since a month ago. Among them, the net satisfaction rate of the political condition has even registered a new high since April 2019. The latest net satisfaction rates of all five specific policy areas of the HKSAR Government are negative. The net satisfaction rates of the government’s performance in handling its relation with the Central Government, protecting human rights and freedom, maintaining economic prosperity, its pace of democratic development and improving people’s livelihood are negative 16, negative 21, negative 37, negative 39 and negative 41 percentage points respectively. Among them, the net satisfaction rates in handling its relation with the Central Government and protecting human rights and freedom have significantly increased by 20 and 17 percentage points respectively. As for the PSI, the latest figure is 68.8, up by 11.2 points from early November. The effective response rate of the survey is 74.6%. 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 : 23-26/11/2020
Survey method : Random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers
Target population : Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong residents aged 18 or above
Sample size[1] : 1,085 (including 540 landline and 545 mobile samples)
Effective response rate : 74.6%
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 31/8-4/9/20 21-24/9/20 5-8/10/20 19-22/10/20 9-13/11/20 23-26/11/20[3] Latest change
Sample size 1,007 1,013 1,002 1,020 1,005 1,085
Response rate 58.4% 61.5% 62.8% 62.2% 63.9% 74.6%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Rating of CE Carrie Lam 28.1 27.5 28.6 27.2 30.8[4] 33.5+/-2.1 +2.7
Vote of confidence in
CE Carrie Lam
21% 17% 18% 18% 21% 21+/-3%
Vote of no confidence in
CE Carrie Lam
69% 71% 72% 74% 69%[4] 66+/-3% -3%
Net approval rate -48% -53% -53% -56% -48%[4] -45+/-5% +4%

[3]     POP conducted a Policy Address instant survey on 25/11/2020 in between two tracking surveys, the results are: CE rating at 26.8 marks, net approval rate at negative 57 percentage points. Because our tracking surveys do not use online samples, and our latest survey started two days before the Policy Address, it is better to compare the latest figures with those collected in our previous survey conducted on 9-13/11/2020.

[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 15-18/6/20 20-24/7/20 17-20/8/20 21-24/9/20 19-22/10/20 23-26/11/20 Latest change
Sample size 620-629 611-615 587-677 589-695 624-637 518-529
Response rate 54.1% 62.5% 60.9% 61.5% 62.2% 74.6%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Satisfaction rate of SARG performance[5] 17% 19% 20% 17% 17% 19+/-3% +2%
Dissatisfaction rate of SARG performance[5] 71% 65%[6] 65% 63% 69%[6] 62+/-4% -6%[6]
Net satisfaction rate -54% -46% -45% -46% -52% -43+/-7% +9%
Mean value[5] 1.9 2.0 2.1 2.1 2.0 2.1+/-0.1 +0.2[6]
Trust in HKSAR Government[5] 27% 25% 30% 27% 26% 30+/-4% +3%
Distrust in HKSAR Government[5] 59% 61% 59% 55% 61%[6] 49+/-4% -12%[6]
Net trust -32% -35% -29% -28% -35% -20+/-8% +15%[6]
Mean value[5] 2.3 2.2 2.4 2.4 2.3 2.5+/-0.1 +0.3[6]

[5]     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.

[6]     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 15-18/6/20 20-24/7/20 17-20/8/20 21-24/9/20 19-22/10/20 23-26/11/20 Latest change
Sample size 1,002 1,029 1,020 1,013 1,020 1085
Response rate 54.1% 62.5% 60.9% 61.5% 62.2% 74.6%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Current livelihood condition:
Satisfaction rate[7]
12% 15%[8] 12%[8] 13% 14% 15+/-2% +2%
Current livelihood condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[7]
66%[8] 66% 70% 64%[8] 67% 61+/-3% -6%[8]
Net satisfaction rate -54%[8] -51% -57%[8] -51% -54% -46+/-5% +7%[8]
Mean value[7] 2.1[8] 2.1 2.0 2.1 2.0 2.2+/-0.1 +0.1[8]
Current political condition:
Satisfaction rate[7]
3% 8%[8] 9% 9% 9% 15+/-2% +7%[8]
Current political condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[7]
84%[8] 78%[8] 77% 73%[8] 75% 66+/-3% -9%[8]
Net satisfaction rate -81%[8] -70%[8] -68% -65% -66% -50+/-5% +16%[8]
Mean value[7] 1.5[8] 1.6[8] 1.7 1.7 1.7 2.0+/-0.1 +0.3[8]
Current economic condition:
Satisfaction rate[7]
12% 13% 10% 12% 9% 10+/-2% +1%
Current economic condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[7]
64%[8] 64% 71%[8] 69% 70% 64+/-3% -6%[8]
Net satisfaction rate -52%[8] -52% -61%[8] -57% -61% -53+/-4% +7%[8]
Mean value[7] 2.2[8] 2.1 2.0[8] 2.1 2.0 2.1+/-0.1 +0.2[8]

[7]     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.

[8]     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 33.5 marks. Her approval rate is 21%, disapproval rate 66%, giving a net popularity of negative 45 percentage points. All popularity figures have not changed much from half a month ago, but the rating has registered new record high since early June 2019 when the anti-extradition bill movement started.

Regarding the HKSAR Government, the latest satisfaction rate is 19%, whereas 62% were dissatisfied, thus net satisfaction stands at negative 43 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, 49% expressed distrust, thus the net trust value is negative 20 percentage points, up significantly by 15 percentage points. The mean score is 2.5, meaning between “quite distrust” and “half-half” in general. The net values of both popularity measures have registered new record high since May 2019.

As for people’s satisfaction with the current livelihood, political and economic conditions, the latest satisfaction rates are 15%, 15% and 10% respectively, while the net satisfaction rates are negative 46, negative 50 and negative 53 percentage points respectively, all having significantly increased since a month ago. Among them, the net satisfaction rate of the political condition has registered new record high since April 2019. The mean scores are 2.2, 2.0 and 2.1 respectively, meaning close to “quite dissatisfied” in general.

People’s Appraisal of Policy Areas of the Government

Recent figures on people’s appraisal of the five specific policy areas of the HKSAR Government are summarized as follows, in descending order of net satisfaction rates:

Date of survey 14-21/6/18 17-20/12/18 24-28/10/19 14-17/4/20 23-26/11/20 Latest change
Sample size[9] 588-666 512-540 519 582-617 516-523
Response rate 59.6% 60.6% 68.3% 64.5% 74.6%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Relation with the Central Government: Satisfaction rate[10] 52% 56% 17%[11] 23%[11] 33+/-4% +10%[11]
Relation with the Central Government: Dissatisfaction rate[10] 33%[11] 26%[11] 60%[11] 59% 49+/-4% -11%[11]
Net satisfaction rate 19% 31%[11] -43%[11] -36% -16+/-8% +20%[11]
Mean value[10] 3.2 3.4[11] 2.1[11] 2.2 2.6+/-0.1 +0.4[11]
Protecting human rights and freedom: Satisfaction rate[10] 36% 35% 22%[11] 24% 31+/-4% +6%[11]
Protecting human rights and freedom: Dissatisfaction rate[10] 49%[11] 46% 67%[11] 63% 52+/-4% -11%[11]
Net satisfaction rate -13% -11% -45%[11] -39% -21+/-8% +17%[11]
Mean value[10] 2.7 2.7 2.0[11] 2.2 2.4+/-0.1 +0.2[11]
Maintaining economic prosperity: Satisfaction rate[10] 46% 48% 14%[11] 24%[11] 19+/-3% -5%[11]
Maintaining economic prosperity: Dissatisfaction rate[10] 35%[11] 31% 68%[11] 59%[11] 56+/-4% -4%
Net satisfaction rate 10%[11] 17% -54%[11] -35%[11] -37+/-7% -2%
Mean value[10] 3.0 3.1 2.0[11] 2.4[11] 2.3+/-0.1
Pace of democratic development: Satisfaction rate[10] 29% 34% 15%[11] 21%[11] 21+/-4%
Pace of democratic development: Dissatisfaction rate[10] 55%[11] 50% 70%[11] 64%[11] 60+/-4% -4%
Net satisfaction rate -26%[11] -16% -55%[11] -43%[11] -39+/-7% +4%
Mean value[10] 2.4[11] 2.6 1.9[11] 2.1[11] 2.1+/-0.1 +0.1
Improving people’s livelihood: Satisfaction rate[10] 34%[11] 33% 15%[11] 23%[11] 18+/-3% -5%[11]
Improving people’s livelihood: Dissatisfaction rate[10] 47%[11] 46% 72%[11] 62%[11] 59+/-4% -3%
Net satisfaction rate -13%[11] -13% -57%[11] -39%[11] -41+/-7% -2%
Mean value[10] 2.7[11] 2.7 1.9[11] 2.3[11] 2.2+/-0.1

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

[10]  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.

[11]  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.

The latest net satisfaction rates of all five specific policy areas of the HKSAR Government are negative. The net satisfaction rates of the government’s performance in handling its relation with the Central Government, protecting human rights and freedom, maintaining economic prosperity, its pace of democratic development and improving people’s livelihood are negative 16, negative 21, negative 37, negative 39 and negative 41 percentage points respectively. Among them, the net satisfaction rates in handling its relation with the Central Government and protecting human rights and freedom have significantly increased by 20 and 17 percentage points respectively. The mean values of these five specific policy areas range from 2.1 to 2.6, meaning between “quite dissatisfied” and “half-half” in general.

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): 68.8 (+11.2)
Government Appraisal
(GA): 71.7 (+7.9)
Society Appraisal
(SA): 65.3 (+12.1)

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

Cut-off date 4/9/20 24/9/20 8/10/20 22/10/20 13/11/20 26/11/20 Latest change
Public Sentiment Index (PSI) 57.9 60.8 61.1 56.2 57.6 68.8 +11.2
Government Appraisal (GA) 65.2 65.2 65.8 61.2 63.8 71.7 +7.9
Rating of CE 28.1 27.5 28.6 27.2 30.8 33.5 +2.7
Net approval rate of CE -48% -53% -53% -56% -48% -45% +4%
Mean value of people’s satisfaction with SARG 2.1[10] 2.1 2.1[10] 2.0 2.0[10] 2.1 +0.2
Mean value of people’s trust in SARG 2.4[10] 2.4 2.4[10] 2.3 2.3[10] 2.5 +0.3
Society Appraisal (SA) 52.2[10] 57.4 57.4[10] 53.2 53.2[10] 65.3 +12.1
People’s satisfaction with political condition 1.7[10] 1.7 1.7[10] 1.7 1.7[10] 2.0 +0.3
Weighting index of political condition 0.33[10] 0.33[10] 0.33[10] 0.33[10] 0.33[10] 0.33[10]
People’s satisfaction with economic condition 2.0[10] 2.1 2.1[10] 2.0 2.0[10] 2.1 +0.2
Weighting index of economic condition 0.33[10] 0.33[10] 0.33[10] 0.33[10] 0.33[10] 0.33[10]
People’s satisfaction with livelihood condition 2.0[10] 2.1 2.1[10] 2.0 2.0[10] 2.2 +0.1
Weighting index of livelihood condition 0.35[10] 0.35[10] 0.35[10] 0.35[10] 0.35[10] 0.35[10]

[12]  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 68.8, up by 11.2 points from early November. It can be considered as among the worst 2% 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 7.9 points to 71.7, whereas the Society Appraisal (SA) Score that reflects people’s appraisal of the social environment increases by 12.1 points to 65.3. They can be considered as among the worst 3% and 1% across the past 20 years or so respectively.

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 23 to 26 November, 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.

26/11/20 The Education Bureau introduces reforms to liberal studies.
25/11/20 Carrie Lam delivers her Policy Address.
24/11/20 The government tightens anti-epidemic measures and orders public venues to display QR codes for “Leave Home Safe”.
21/11/20 Police arrests 3 people including an online radio host who allegedly violated the national security law by providing financial assistance to secession.
19/11/20 The High Court rules that police officers not displaying their identification numbers violated the Bill of Rights.
14/11/20 The government tightens anti-epidemic measures and imposes mandatory testing.
11/11/20 NPCSC disqualifies 4 democrats in LegCo.
1/11/20 Police arrests 6 democrats who allegedly violated the LegCo Powers and Privileges Ordinance.
31/10/20 Seven defendants accused of rioting on 31 August 2019 are found not guilty.
21/10/20 Cathay Pacific announces massive lay-offs and closes Cathay Dragon.
12/10/20 Carrie Lam postpones Policy Address.
10/10/20 Police arrests 9 people on suspicion of helping the 12 Hong Kong people now being detained in Shenzhen flee Hong Kong.
6/10/20 The Education Bureau deregisters a primary school teacher for professional misconduct.
1/10/20 Police arrests at least 86 protesters in various districts including Causeway Bay.
30/9/20 Luo Huining, Tung Chee-hwa and principal officials of Hong Kong celebrates the 71st anniversary of the founding of the PRC.
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.
11/9/20 The jury in the Coroner’s Court returns an open verdict in the death of Chan Yin-lam.
10/9/20 Police arrests 15 people on suspicion of defrauding and money laundering by trading Next Digital shares.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5/7/20 Local infections with coronavirus appear in Hong Kong again.
4/7/20 Nine books related to politics are taken off shelf in public libraries and put under review.
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.
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.
2/6/20 Local infections with coronavirus appear in Hong Kong again. Prohibition on group gathering is extended for 14 days.
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.
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.
21/5/20 National People’s Congress will deliberate on national security law in Hong Kong.
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.
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.
21/4/20 The Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office issues multiple statements to criticize Dennis Kwok.
18/4/20 15 pan-democrats including Martin Lee and Jimmy Lai are arrested.
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 33.5 marks. Her net popularity is negative 45 percentage points. These figures have not changed much from half a month ago, but the rating has registered a new record high since early June 2019 when the anti-extradition bill movement started. The latest net satisfaction of the HKSAR Government stands at negative 43 percentage points while the net trust value is negative 20 percentage points, up significantly by 15 percentage points, both net values have registered new record high since May 2019. People’s net satisfaction rates with the current livelihood, political and economic conditions are negative 46, negative 50 and negative 53 percentage points respectively, all with significant increment since a month ago. Among them, the net satisfaction rate of the political condition has registered a new high since April 2019.

The latest net satisfaction rates of all five specific policy areas of the HKSAR Government are negative. The net satisfaction rates of the government’s performance in handling its relation with the Central Government, protecting human rights and freedom, maintaining economic prosperity, its pace of democratic development and improving people’s livelihood are negative 16, negative 21, negative 37, negative 39 and negative 41 percentage points respectively. Among them, the net satisfaction rates in handling its relation with the Central Government and protecting human rights and freedom have significantly increased by 20 and 17 percentage points respectively.

As for the PSI, the latest figure is 68.8, up by 11.2 points from early November.

Detailed Findings

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