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

Jan 26, 2021
Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute Press Conference – Press Materials

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Detailed Findings

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 1,011 Hong Kong residents by random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers in mid-January. Our survey shows that the latest popularity rating of CE Carrie Lam stands at 32.0 marks, registering a significant increase of 3.0 marks since half a month ago. Her net popularity is negative 49 percentage points, which has not registered any significant change from 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 23 percentage points. People’s net satisfaction rates with the current livelihood, political and economic conditions are negative 47, negative 47 and negative 54 percentage points respectively, which are more or less the same as last month, but the net satisfaction rate with the political condition has registered a new high since March 2019. As for the PSI, the latest figure is 68.1, up by 4.0 points from early January. The effective response rate of the survey is 67.2%. 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 : 18-22/1/2021
Survey method : Random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers
Target population : Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong residents aged 18 or above
Sample size[1] : 1,011 (including 509 landline and 502 mobile samples)
Effective response rate : 67.2%
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)”.
  • 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.
  • 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 9-13/11/20 23-26/11/20[3] 7-10/12/20 18-22/12/20 4-8/1/21 18-22/1/21 Latest change
Sample size 1,005 1,085 1,009 1,014 1,000 1,011
Response rate 63.9% 74.6% 70.0% 68.7% 58.5% 67.2%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Rating of CE Carrie Lam 30.8[4] 33.5 30.6 29.7 29.0 32.0+/-2.1 +3.0[4]
Vote of confidence in
CE Carrie Lam
21% 21% 20% 18% 19% 21+/-3% +2%
Vote of no confidence in
CE Carrie Lam
69%[4] 66% 69% 69% 72% 69+/-3% -3%
Net approval rate -48%[4] -45% -50% -51% -54% -49+/-5% +5%
  • 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.
  • 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 17-20/8/20 21-24/9/20 19-22/10/20 23-26/11/20 18-22/12/20 18-22/1/21 Latest change
Sample size 587-677 589-695 624-637 518-529 558-623 510-600
Response rate 60.9% 61.5% 62.2% 74.6% 68.7% 67.2%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Satisfaction rate of SARG performance[5] 20% 17% 17% 19% 17% 16+/-3%
Dissatisfaction rate of SARG performance[5] 65% 63% 69%[6] 62%[6] 60% 61+/-4% +2%
Net satisfaction rate -45% -46% -52% -43% -43% -45+/-6% -2%
Mean value[5] 2.1 2.1 2.0 2.1[6] 2.1 2.1+/-0.1
Trust in HKSAR Government[5] 30% 27% 26% 30% 29% 28+/-4% -1%
Distrust in HKSAR Government[5] 59% 55% 61%[6] 49%[6] 56%[6] 51+/-4% -5%
Net trust -29% -28% -35% -20%[6] -27% -23+/-8% +5%
Mean value[5] 2.4 2.4 2.3 2.5[6] 2.4 2.5+/-0.1 +0.1
  • 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.
  • 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 17-20/8/20 21-24/9/20 19-22/10/20 23-26/11/20 18-22/12/20 18-22/1/21 Latest change
Sample size 1,020 1,013 1,020 1,085 1,014 1,011
Response rate 60.9% 61.5% 62.2% 74.6% 68.7% 67.2%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Current livelihood condition:
Satisfaction rate[7]
12%[8] 13% 14% 15% 14% 15+/-2% +1%
Current livelihood condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[7]
70% 64%[8] 67% 61%[8] 65% 62+/-3% -2%
Net satisfaction rate -57%[8] -51% -54% -46%[8] -51% -47+/-5% +3%
Mean value[7] 2.0 2.1 2.0 2.2[8] 2.1 2.2+/-0.1 +0.1
Current political condition:
Satisfaction rate[7]
9% 9% 9% 15%[8] 16% 15+/-2%
Current political condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[7]
77% 73%[8] 75% 66%[8] 65% 63+/-3% -3%
Net satisfaction rate -68% -65% -66% -50%[8] -50% -47+/-5% +2%
Mean value[7] 1.7 1.7 1.7 2.0[8] 2.0 2.1+/-0.1
Current economic condition:
Satisfaction rate[7]
10% 12% 9% 10% 10% 13+/-2% +3%
Current economic condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[7]
71%[8] 69% 70% 64%[8] 68%[8] 67+/-3% -2%
Net satisfaction rate -61%[8] -57% -61% -53%[8] -59% -54+/-4% +4%
Mean value[7] 2.0[8] 2.1 2.0 2.1[8] 2.0 2.1+/-0.1
  • 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.
  • 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 latest popularity rating of CE Carrie Lam stands at 32.0 marks, registering a significant increase of 3.0 marks since half a month ago. Her latest approval rate is 21%, disapproval rate 69%, giving a net popularity of negative 49 percentage points. These figures have not registered any significant change from half a month ago.

Regarding the HKSAR Government, the latest satisfaction rate is 16%, whereas 61% 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, 28% of the respondents expressed trust, 51% expressed distrust, thus the net trust value is negative 23 percentage points. The mean score is 2.5, meaning between “quite distrust” and “half-half” in general.

As for people’s satisfaction with the current livelihood, political and economic conditions, the latest satisfaction rates are 15%, 15% and 13% respectively, while the net satisfaction rates are negative 47, negative 47 and negative 54 percentage points respectively. The mean scores are 2.2, 2.1 and 2.1 respectively, meaning close to “quite dissatisfied” in general. The figures above are more or less the same as last month, but the net satisfaction rate with the political condition has registered a new high since March 2019.

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): 68.1 (+4.0)
Government Appraisal
(GA): 70.2 (+3.7)
Society Appraisal
(SA): 65.4 (+3.5)

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

Cut-off date 13/11/20 26/11/20 10/12/20 22/12/20 8/1/21 22/1/21 Latest change
Public Sentiment Index (PSI) 57.6 68.8 67.7 64.5 64.1 68.1 +4.0
Government Appraisal (GA) 63.8 71.7 69.8 67.2 66.6 70.2 +3.7
Rating of CE 30.8 33.5 30.6 29.7 29.0 32.0 +3.0
Net approval rate of CE -48% -45% -50% -51% -54% -49% +5%
Mean value of people’s satisfaction with SARG 2.0[9] 2.1 2.1[9] 2.1 2.1[9] 2.1
Mean value of people’s trust in SARG 2.3[9] 2.5 2.5[9] 2.4 2.4[9] 2.5 +0.1
Society Appraisal (SA) 53.2[9] 65.3 65.3[9] 62.0 61.9 65.4 +3.5
People’s satisfaction with political condition 1.7[9] 2.0 2.0[9] 2.0 2.0[9] 2.1
Weighting index of political condition 0.33[9] 0.33[9] 0.33[9] 0.33[9] 0.32 0.32[9]
People’s satisfaction with economic condition 2.0[9] 2.1 2.1[9] 2.0 2.0[9] 2.1
Weighting index of economic condition 0.33[9] 0.33[9] 0.33[9] 0.33[9] 0.33 0.33[9]
People’s satisfaction with livelihood condition 2.0[9] 2.2 2.2[9] 2.1 2.1[9] 2.2 +0.1
Weighting index of livelihood condition 0.35[9] 0.35[9] 0.35[9] 0.35[9] 0.35 0.35[9]
  • 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 68.1, up by 4.0 points from early January. 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 3.7 points to 70.2, whereas the Society Appraisal (SA) Score that reflects people’s appraisal of the social environment increases by 3.5 points to 65.4. They can be considered as among the worst 2% 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 4 to 8 January, 2021 while this survey was conducted from 18 to 22 January, 2021. 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.

22/1/21 Sources say the government will lock down designated areas in Yau Ma Tei.
20/1/21 Queen’s Counsel David Perry steps down as prosecutor in an assembly case involving democrats.
18/1/21 Ocean Park announces its reform plan.
15/1/21 Mandatory testing is ordered for residents of 20 buildings in Yau Ma Tei.
13/1/21 Brazil authority announces that the general efficacy of Sinovac vaccine is 50.4%.
6/1/21 Police arrests 53 democrats involved in the pro-democracy primaries who allegedly violated the national security law.
5/1/21 Geoffrey Ma says details and justifications are needed to call for judicial reform.
4/1/21 The government announces extension of anti-epidemic measures. Face-to-face classes are suspended in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools until the Lunar New Year holidays.

Data Analysis

Our survey shows that the latest popularity rating of CE Carrie Lam stands at 32.0 marks, registering a significant increase of 3.0 marks since half a month ago. Her net popularity is negative 49 percentage points, which has not registered any significant change from 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 23 percentage points. People’s net satisfaction rates with the current livelihood, political and economic conditions are negative 47, negative 47 and negative 54 percentage points respectively, which are more or less the same as last month, but the net satisfaction rate with the political condition has registered a new high since March 2019.

As for the PSI, the latest figure is 68.1, up by 4.0 points from early January.

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