POP releases popularities of CE and principal officials (2021-03-16)

March 16, 2021
Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute Press Conference – Press Materials

Press Conference Live

POP releases popularities of CE and principal officials

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 1,001 Hong Kong residents by random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers in early March. Our latest survey shows that the popularity rating of CE Carrie Lam has dropped significantly by 4.4 marks compared to half a month ago, now standing at 29.5 marks. 43% of respondents gave her 0 mark. Her approval rate is 18%, disapproval rate 72%, giving a net popularity of negative 54 percentage points, which has dropped significantly by 10 percentage points. As for the Secretaries of Departments, the support rating of CS Matthew Cheung is 32.7 marks. His net popularity is negative 25 percentage points. The support rating of FS Paul Chan is 34.7 marks, his net popularity is negative 21 percentage points. As for SJ Teresa Cheng, her support rating is 23.9 marks, her net popularity is negative 42 percentage points. All secretaries’ popularity figures have not changed much from a month ago. As for the Directors of Bureaux, except for Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Christopher Hui who has got a net approval rate of positive 1 percentage point, everyone else register negative net approval rates. The second to fourth positions go to Secretary for Development Michael Wong, Secretary for Innovation and Technology Alfred Sit and Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing, followed by Secretary for Home Affairs Caspar Tsui, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang, Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip, Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan, Secretary for Security John Lee, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan and Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung. Compared to two months ago, the net approval rates of 8 Directors have gone up, 4 have gone down, while 1 remains unchanged, but only the net approval rate of Frank Chan has dropped significantly by 9 percentage points. The effective response rate of the survey is 47.6%. The maximum sampling error of percentages is +/-4%, that of net values is +/-7% and that of ratings is +/-2.7 at 95% confidence level.

Contact Information

Date of survey : 8-12/3/2021
Survey method : Random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers
Target population : Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong residents aged 18 or above
Sample size[1] : 1,001 (including 496 landline and 505 mobile samples)
Effective response rate : 47.6%
Sampling error[2] : Sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4%, that of net values not more than +/-7% and that of ratings not more than +/-2.7 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 principal officials

Recent popularity figures of CE Carrie Lam are summarized as follows:

Date of survey 18-22/12/20 4-8/1/21 18-22/1/21 2-5/2/21 24-26/2/21 8-12/3/21 Latest change
Sample size 1,014 1,000 1,011 1,018 1,000 1,001
Response rate 68.7% 58.5% 67.2% 62.9% 57.2% 47.6%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Rating of CE Carrie Lam 29.7 29.0 32.0[3] 31.0 33.9 29.5+/-2.1 -4.4[3]
Vote of confidence in
CE Carrie Lam
18% 19% 21% 18% 23%[3] 18+/-2% -5%[3]
Vote of no confidence in
CE Carrie Lam
69% 72% 69% 70% 67% 72+/-3% +5%[3]
Net approval rate -51% -54% -49% -52% -43%[3] -54+/-5% -10%[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 three Secretaries of Departments under the accountability system are summarized below:

Date of survey 9-13/11/20 7-10/12/20 4-8/1/21 2-5/2/21 24/2/21[4] 8-12/3/21 Latest change
Sample size 608-636 574-657 600-664 529-582 859 521-548
Response rate 63.9% 70.0% 58.5% 62.9% 61.0% 47.6%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Rating of CS Matthew Cheung 30.7 29.2 30.7 31.2 32.7+/-2.6 +1.6
Vote of confidence in
CS Matthew Cheung
18% 17% 18% 16% 19+/-3% +3%
Vote of no confidence in
CS Matthew Cheung
50% 51% 48% 47% 44+/-4% -3%
Net approval rate -32% -34% -29% -31% -25+/-7% +6%
Rating of FS Paul Chan 39.5 35.4[5] 33.6 35.2 36.2 34.7+/-2.7 -1.5
Vote of confidence in FS Paul Chan 29% 24% 27% 23% 27% 26+/-4%
Vote of no confidence in FS Paul Chan 38%[5] 44%[5] 42% 44% 51%[5] 47+/-4% -4%
Net approval rate -9% -20%[5] -14% -21% -24% -21+/-7% +3%
Rating of SJ Teresa Cheng 21.7 23.3 23.1 23.8 23.9+/-2.7 +0.2
Vote of confidence in SJ Teresa Cheng 13% 14% 14% 11% 14+/-3% +3%
Vote of no confidence in SJ Teresa Cheng 64% 63% 66% 61% 56+/-4% -4%
Net approval rate -51% -49% -52% -50% -42+/-6% +8%
[4] The survey was the Budget instant poll and only asked about the rating of FS and vote of confidence in him.

[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.

Latest popularity figures of Directors of Bureaux under the accountability system sorted by net approval rates[6] are summarized below:

Date of survey 31/8-4/9/20 9-13/11/20 4-8/1/21 8-12/3/21 Latest change
Sample size 580-645 588-642 603-628 533-710
Response rate 58.4% 63.9% 58.5% 47.6%
Latest findings Finding Finding Finding Finding & error
Vote of confidence in Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Christopher Hui 16% 20%[7] 20% 19+/-4% -1%
Vote of no confidence in Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Christopher Hui 27% 21%[7] 26% 19+/-4% -7%[7]
Net approval rate -11% -1%[7] -7% 1+/-6% +7%
Vote of confidence in Secretary for Development Michael Wong 15%[7] 21%[7] 21% 21+/-3%
Vote of no confidence in Secretary for Development Michael Wong 32% 27% 26% 23+/-4% -4%
Net approval rate -17%[7] -6%[7] -5% -2+/-6% +4%
Vote of confidence in Secretary for Innovation and Technology Alfred Sit 19% 23% 23% 24+/-4% +2%
Vote of no confidence in Secretary for Innovation and Technology Alfred Sit 35% 26%[7] 33%[7] 28+/-4% -5%
Net approval rate -16%[7] -3%[7] -10% -4+/-6% +6%
Vote of confidence in Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing 22% 28%[7] 25% 24+/-3% -1%
Vote of no confidence in Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing 31% 28% 28% 28+/-3%
Net approval rate -9% -<1%[7] -3% -4+/-6% -2%
Vote of confidence in Secretary for Home Affairs Caspar Tsui 17% 20% 19% 21+/-4% +2%
Vote of no confidence in Secretary for Home Affairs Caspar Tsui 36% 29%[7] 31% 29+/-4% -2%
Net approval rate -19% -9%[7] -13% -8+/-6% +5%
Vote of confidence in Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau 21% 28%[7] 25% 25+/-3%
Vote of no confidence in Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau 48%[7] 38%[7] 39% 35+/-4% -4%
Net approval rate -27%[7] -10%[7] -14% -10+/-6% +4%
Vote of confidence in Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong 24% 28% 31% 25+/-3% -6%[7]
Vote of no confidence in Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong 44% 36%[7] 37% 36+/-4%
Net approval rate -20%[7] -9%[7] -6% -11+/-6% -5%
Vote of confidence in Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang 19% 23% 21% 22+/-3% +1%
Vote of no confidence in Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang 50%[7] 43%[7] 40% 37+/-4% -3%
Net approval rate -31%[7] -20%[7] -19% -15+/-6% +4%
Vote of confidence in Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip 23% 23% 23% 25+/-3% +2%
Vote of no confidence in Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip 49% 42%[7] 44% 42+/-4% -2%
Net approval rate -26% -19% -21% -17+/-6% +4%
Vote of confidence in Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan 20% 25%[7] 24% 16+/-3% -7%[7]
Vote of no confidence in Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan 45% 38%[7] 39% 40+/-4% +1%
Net approval rate -26% -13%[7] -15% -24+/-6% -9%[7]
Vote of confidence in Secretary for Security John Lee 21% 24% 25% 27+/-4% +3%
Vote of no confidence in Secretary for Security John Lee 63% 55%[7] 55% 51+/-4% -4%
Net approval rate -42% -31%[7] -30% -24+/-7% +6%
Vote of confidence in Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan 27% 36%[7] 25%[7] 23+/-3% -2%
Vote of no confidence in Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan 49%[7] 38%[7] 46%[7] 49+/-4% +3%
Net approval rate -21%[7] -2%[7] -20%[7] -26+/-6% -5%
Vote of confidence in Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung 17% 20% 17% 15+/-3% -2%
Vote of no confidence in Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung 60% 59% 60% 58+/-4% -2%
Net approval rate -43% -39% -42% -43+/-6%
[6] If the rounded figures are the same, numbers after the decimal point will be considered.

[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 has dropped significantly by 4.4 marks compared to half a month ago, now standing at 29.5 marks. 43% of respondents gave her 0 mark. Her approval rate is 18%, disapproval rate 72%, giving a net popularity of negative 54 percentage points, which has dropped significantly by 10 percentage points.

As for the Secretaries of Departments, the support rating of CS Matthew Cheung is 32.7 marks. His approval rate is 19%, disapproval rate 44%, giving a net popularity of negative 25 percentage points. The support rating of FS Paul Chan is 34.7 marks, approval rate 26%, disapproval rate 47%, thus a net popularity of negative 21 percentage points. As for SJ Teresa Cheng, her support rating is 23.9 marks, approval rate 14%, disapproval rate 56%, giving a net popularity of negative 42 percentage points. All secretaries’ popularity figures have not changed much from a month ago.

As for the Directors of Bureaux, except for Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Christopher Hui who has got a net approval rate of positive 1 percentage point, everyone else register negative net approval rates. The second to fourth positions go to Secretary for Development Michael Wong, Secretary for Innovation and Technology Alfred Sit and Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing, followed by Secretary for Home Affairs Caspar Tsui, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang, Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip, Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan, Secretary for Security John Lee, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan and Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung. Compared to two months ago, the net approval rates of 8 Directors have gone up, 4 have gone down, while 1 remains unchanged, but only the net approval rate of Frank Chan has dropped significantly by 9 percentage points.

According to POP’s standard, no one falls under the category of “ideal” or “successful” performer. The performance of Paul Chan, Law Chi-kwong, Edward Yau, Patrick Nip, Alfred Sit, Wong Kam-sing, Sophia Chan, Erick Tsang, Matthew Cheung and Frank Chan can be labeled as “mediocre”. That of Caspar Tsui, Michael Wong and Christopher Hui can be labeled as “inconspicuous”. Kevin Yeung, Teresa Cheng and John Lee fall into the category of “depressing” performer, while Carrie Lam falls into that of “disastrous”.

The following table summarizes the grading of CE Carrie Lam and the principal officials:

“Ideal”: those with approval rates of over 66%; ranked by their approval rates shown inside brackets[8]
Nil
“Successful”: those with approval rates of over 50%; ranked by their approval rates shown inside brackets[8]
Nil
“Mediocre”: those not belonging to other 5 types; ranked by their approval rates shown inside brackets[8]
FS Paul Chan (26%)

Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong (25%)

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau (25%)

Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip (25%)

Secretary for Innovation and Technology Alfred Sit (24%)

Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing (24%)

Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan (23%)

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang (22%)

CS Matthew Cheung (19%)

Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan (16%)

“Inconspicuous”: those with recognition rates of less than 50%; ranked by their approval rates[8]; the first figure inside bracket is approval rate while the second figure is recognition rate
Secretary for Home Affairs Caspar Tsui (21%, 50%)

Secretary for Development Michael Wong (21%, 43%)

Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Christopher Hui (19%, 38%)

 
“Depressing”: those with disapproval rates of over 50%; ranked by their disapproval rates shown inside brackets[8]
Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung (58%)

SJ Teresa Cheng (56%)

Secretary for Security John Lee (51%)

“Disastrous”: those with disapproval rates of over 66%; ranked by their disapproval rates shown inside brackets[8]
CE Carrie Lam (72%)
  • If the rounded figures are the same, numbers after the decimal point will be considered.

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 8 to 12 March, 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.

12/3/21 Hong Kong confirms 54 local infections with coronavirus disease.
11/3/21 The National People’s Congress passes bill on amending Hong Kong’s electoral system.
8/3/21 A male of age 71 dies after taking the Sinovac vaccine.
6/3/21 A female of age 55 dies after taking the Sinovac vaccine.
5/3/21 The National People’s Congress will deliberate on amending Hong Kong’s electoral system.
3/3/21 Expert committee finds no link between Sinovac vaccine and the death of the male aged 63.
2/3/21 A male of age 63 dies after taking the Sinovac vaccine.
1/3/21 The court reviews 47 democrats’ bail application overnight.
28/2/21 47 democrats are charged with “conspiracy to commit subversion”.
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.
15/2/21 Hong Kong confirms 9 local infections with coronavirus disease.
13/2/21 Heung Yee Kuk Chairman Kenneth Lau draws a fortune stick for Hong Kong at Che Kung Temple.
10/2/21 The government announces that the dine-in ban during nighttime will be lifted, 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.
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%.

Data Analysis

Our latest survey shows that the popularity rating of CE Carrie Lam has dropped significantly by 4.4 marks compared to half a month ago, now standing at 29.5 marks. 43% of respondents gave her 0 mark. Her approval rate is 18%, disapproval rate 72%, giving a net popularity of negative 54 percentage points, which has dropped significantly by 10 percentage points. As for the Secretaries of Departments, the support rating of CS Matthew Cheung is 32.7 marks. His net popularity is negative 25 percentage points. The support rating of FS Paul Chan is 34.7 marks, his net popularity is negative 21 percentage points. As for SJ Teresa Cheng, her support rating is 23.9 marks, her net popularity is negative 42 percentage points. All secretaries’ popularity figures have not changed much from a month ago. As for the Directors of Bureaux, except for Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Christopher Hui who has got a net approval rate of positive 1 percentage point, everyone else register negative net approval rates. The second to fourth positions go to Secretary for Development Michael Wong, Secretary for Innovation and Technology Alfred Sit and Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing, followed by Secretary for Home Affairs Caspar Tsui, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang, Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip, Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan, Secretary for Security John Lee, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan and Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung. Compared to two months ago, the net approval rates of 8 Directors have gone up, 4 have gone down, while 1 remains unchanged, but only the net approval rate of Frank Chan has dropped significantly by 9 percentage points.

Detailed Findings

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