POP releases popularities of CE and SAR Government along with Public Sentiment Index (2021-03-02)

March 2, 2021
Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute Press Conference – Press Materials

Press Conference Live

POP releases popularities of CE and SAR Government
along with 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 1,000 Hong Kong residents by random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers in late February. Our survey shows that the latest popularity rating of CE Carrie Lam stands at 33.9 marks, a new high since early June 2019. Her net popularity is negative 43 percentage points, registering a significant increase of 9 percentage points since early February. The latest net satisfaction of the HKSAR Government stands at negative 33 percentage points, registering a significant increase of 12 percentage points since a month ago, which is also a new high since May 2019. The net trust value is negative 14 percentage points, a new high since March 2019. People’s net satisfaction rates with the current political, livelihood and economic conditions are negative 42, negative 43 and negative 56 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 December 2018. As for the PSI, the latest figure is 71.7, up by 4.1 points from early February. The effective response rate of the survey is 57.2%. The maximum sampling error of percentages is +/-4%, that of net values is +/-8% and that of ratings is +/-2.2 at 95% confidence level.

Contact Information

Date of survey : 24-26/2/2021
Survey method : Random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers
Target population : Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong residents aged 18 or above
Sample size[1] : 1,000 (including 500 landline and 500 mobile samples)
Effective response rate : 57.2%
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 +/-2.2 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.

  • 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 7-10/12/20 18-22/12/20 4-8/1/21 18-22/1/21 2-5/2/21 24-26/2/21 Latest change
Sample size 1,009 1,014 1,000 1,011 1,018 1,000
Response rate 70.0% 68.7% 58.5% 67.2% 62.9% 57.2%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Rating of CE Carrie Lam 30.6 29.7 29.0 32.0[3] 31.0 33.9+/-2.2 +2.9
Vote of confidence in
CE Carrie Lam
20% 18% 19% 21% 18% 23+/-3% +6%[3]
Vote of no confidence in
CE Carrie Lam
69% 69% 72% 69% 70% 67+/-3% -3%
Net approval rate -50% -51% -54% -49% -52% -43+/-5% +9%[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 21-24/9/20 19-22/10/20 23-26/11/20 18-22/12/20 18-22/1/21 24-26/2/21 Latest change
Sample size 589-695 624-637 518-529 558-623 510-600 519
Response rate 61.5% 62.2% 74.6% 68.7% 67.2% 57.2%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Satisfaction rate of SARG performance[5] 17% 17% 19% 17% 16% 23+/-4% +6%[5]
Dissatisfaction rate of SARG performance[5] 63% 69%[5] 62%[5] 60% 61% 56+/-4% -5%
Net satisfaction rate -46% -52% -43% -43% -45% -33+/-7% +12%[5]
Mean value[5] 2.1 2.0 2.1[5] 2.1 2.1 2.3+/-0.1 +0.2[5]
Trust in HKSAR Government[5] 27% 26% 30% 29% 28% 36+/-4% +8%[5]
Distrust in HKSAR Government[5] 55% 61%[5] 49%[5] 56%[5] 51% 50+/-4% -1%
Net trust -28% -35% -20%[5] -27% -23% -14+/-8% +9%
Mean value[5] 2.4 2.3 2.5[5] 2.4 2.5 2.6+/-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 21-24/9/20 19-22/10/20 23-26/11/20 18-22/12/20 18-22/1/21 24-26/2/21 Latest change
Sample size 1,013 1,020 1,085 1,014 1,011 1,000
Response rate 61.5% 62.2% 74.6% 68.7% 67.2% 57.2%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Current political condition:
Satisfaction rate[6]
9% 9% 15%[7] 16% 15% 18+/-2% +3%
Current political condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[6]
73%[7] 75% 66%[7] 65% 63% 61+/-3% -2%
Net satisfaction rate -65% -66% -50%[7] -50% -47% -42+/-5% +5%
Mean value[6] 1.7 1.7 2.0[7] 2.0 2.1 2.1+/-0.1
Current livelihood condition:
Satisfaction rate[6]
13% 14% 15% 14% 15% 19+/-2% +4%[7]
Current livelihood condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[6]
64%[7] 67% 61%[7] 65% 62% 62+/-3% -1%
Net satisfaction rate -51% -54% -46%[7] -51% -47% -43+/-5% +4%
Mean value[6] 2.1 2.0 2.2[7] 2.1 2.2 2.2+/-0.1 +0.1
Current economic condition:
Satisfaction rate[6]
12% 9% 10% 10% 13% 12+/-2%
Current economic condition:
Dissatisfaction rate[6]
69% 70% 64%[7] 68%[7] 67% 68+/-3% +2%
Net satisfaction rate -57% -61% -53%[7] -59% -54% -56+/-4% -2%
Mean value[6] 2.1 2.0 2.1[7] 2.0 2.1 2.1+/-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 stands at 33.9 marks, a new high since early June 2019. Her latest approval rate is 23%, disapproval rate 67%, giving a net popularity of negative 43 percentage points, registering a significant increase of 9 percentage points since early February.

Regarding the HKSAR Government, the latest satisfaction rate is 23%, whereas 56% feel dissatisfied, thus the net satisfaction stands at negative 33 percentage points, registering a significant increase of 12 percentage points since a month ago, which is also a new high since May 2019. The mean score is 2.3, meaning close to “quite dissatisfied” in general. Regarding people’s trust in the HKSAR Government, 36% of the respondents expressed trust, 50% expressed distrust, thus the net trust value is negative 14 percentage points, a new high since March 2019. The mean score is 2.6, meaning between “quite distrust” and “half-half” in general.

As for people’s satisfaction with the current political, livelihood and economic conditions, the latest satisfaction rates are 18%, 19% and 12% respectively, while the net satisfaction rates are negative 42, negative 43 and negative 56 percentage points respectively. The mean scores are 2.1, 2.2 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 December 2018.

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): 71.7 (+4.1)
Government Appraisal
(GA): 74.9 (+5.5)
Society Appraisal
(SA): 67.2 (+1.8)

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

Cut-off date 10/12/20 22/12/20 8/1/21 22/1/21 5/2/21 26/2/21 Latest change
Public Sentiment Index (PSI) 67.7 64.5 64.1 68.1 67.6 71.7 +4.1
Government Appraisal (GA) 69.8 67.2 66.6 70.2 69.4 74.9 +5.5
Rating of CE 30.6 29.7 29.0 32.0 31.0 33.9 +2.9
Net approval rate of CE -50% -51% -54% -49% -52% -43% +9%
Mean value of people’s satisfaction with SARG 2.1[8] 2.1 2.1[8] 2.1 2.1[8] 2.3 +0.2
Mean value of people’s trust in SARG 2.5[8] 2.4 2.4[8] 2.5 2.5[8] 2.6 +0.1
Society Appraisal (SA) 65.3[8] 62.0 61.9 65.4 65.4[8] 67.2 +1.8
People’s satisfaction with political condition 2.0[8] 2.0 2.0[8] 2.1 2.1[8] 2.1
Weighting index of political condition 0.33[8] 0.33[8] 0.32 0.32[8] 0.32[8] 0.32[8]
People’s satisfaction with economic condition 2.1[8] 2.0 2.0[8] 2.1 2.1[8] 2.1
Weighting index of economic condition 0.33[8] 0.33[8] 0.33 0.33[8] 0.33[8] 0.33[8]
People’s satisfaction with livelihood condition 2.2[8] 2.1 2.1[8] 2.2 2.2[8] 2.2 +0.1
Weighting index of livelihood condition 0.35[8] 0.35[8] 0.35 0.35[8] 0.35[8] 0.35[8]
[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 71.7, up by 4.1 points from early February. It can be considered as among the worst 3% 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 5.5 points to 74.9, whereas the Society Appraisal (SA) Score that reflects people’s appraisal of the social environment increases by 1.8 points to 67.2. They can be considered as among the worst 5% 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 18 to 22 January, 2021 while this survey was conducted from 24 to 26 February, 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.

25/2/21 The government will distribute e-vouchers for spending worth $5,000 in batches.
24/2/21 Financial Secretary Paul Chan delivers the Budget.
23/2/21 The government proposes amendments to laws to regulate oath-taking by public officers, compiling a negative list of behaviours, violators of which will be disqualified.
22/2/21 Xia Baolong says the Central Government will change the electoral system in Hong Kong to make sure it will be “patriots ruling Hong Kong”.
19/2/21 The government releases the Governance and Management of RTHK Review Report, and announces that Li Pak-chuen will replace Leung Ka-wing as the Director of Broadcasting.
18/2/21 Sinovac vaccines arrive in Hong Kong. The government announces the vaccination plan.
16/2/21 The government lifts the dine-in ban during nighttime, but customers will need to use the “LeaveHomeSafe” app or register.
9/2/21 The Court of Final Appeal sets aside the High Court’s decision to grant bail to Jimmy Lai.
4/2/21 Carrie Lam attends the Legislative Council question-and-answer session.
2/2/21 The government continues to lock down multiple areas for compulsory testing and says officials may break into flats.
1/2/21 The government locks down multiple areas for compulsory testing and lowers the threshold of imposing lockdowns.
29/1/21 The British government announces details of migration using BNO visa; the Chinese and Hong Kong governments announce they will no longer recognise BNO passports.
28/1/21 The government locks down Tung Fat Building in North Point for compulsory testing.
27/1/21 Carrie Lam reports to Xi Jinping on her work via video conferencing.
26/1/21 The government locks down areas around Pitt Street for compulsory testing.
24/1/21 Lockdown in Jordan ends with 13 cases found in over 7,000 people.
23/1/21 The government locks down designated areas in Jordan for compulsory testing.
20/1/21 Queen’s Counsel David Perry steps down as prosecutor in an assembly case involving democrats.

Data Analysis

Our survey shows that the latest popularity rating of CE Carrie Lam stands at 33.9 marks, a new high since early June 2019. Her net popularity is negative 43 percentage points, registering a significant increase of 9 percentage points since early February. The latest net satisfaction of the HKSAR Government stands at negative 33 percentage points, registering a significant increase of 12 percentage points since a month ago, which is also a new high since May 2019. The net trust value is negative 14 percentage points, a new high since March 2019. People’s net satisfaction rates with the current political, livelihood and economic conditions are negative 42, negative 43 and negative 56 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 December 2018.

As for the PSI, the latest figure is 71.7, up by 4.1 points from early February

Detailed Findings

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