Survey Findings on Evaluation of Political Parties in Hong KongReleased by Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at CUHK
A telephone survey was conducted from 16 to 18 July 2014 by Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong to study the public views on the performance, functions, role, and prospect of political parties in Hong Kong. 829 respondents aged 18 or above were successfully interviewed, with a response rate of 46.3%. The sampling error is + or –3.40 at a confidence level of 95%.
Major findings are summarized as follows:
While 45.0% of the respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the overall performance of political parties in Hong Kong, only 6.0% said they were satisfied. 44.3% answered ‘in-between’. When they were asked if they viewed political parties more positively or negatively when compared with that of last year, 69.7% of 829 respondents said their overall impression on political parties has worsened, 3.4% reported an improvement, and 24.4% indicated no change. Prospectively, 57.9% of the respondents were pessimistic about the development of political parties in Hong Kong in the next decade, only 8.2% showed optimism.
Concerning perceived roles and functions of political parties in Hong Kong, over one-third (36.4%) agreed with the statement that ‘Political parties in Hong Kong could absorb and train political talents’. 31.4% disagreed with it and 26.7% said ‘in-between’. When the respondents were asked if political parties in Hong Kong could effectively monitor government in order to reduce blunders in policy implementation, 28.3% agreed and 35.0% disagreed. Moreover, 27.2% of the respondents said that political parties in Hong Kong could represent different views of the public, 32.0% disagreed. Three-fifths (60.4%) agreed that ‘in Hong Kong, many government policies could not be smoothly implemented without the support of political parties’ and 17.3% disagreed with this view.
In the survey, questions about impression of the public on political parties were also asked. While almost half of the respondents (47.6%) agreed that ‘those who join political parties in Hong Kong are for self-interests rather than genuinely serving the public’, 14.4% showed opposite view and 34.4% said ‘in-between’. Furthermore, 59.4% of the respondents thought that political parties in Hong Kong were not doing their job but engaging in arguments among themselves and 15.7% said otherwise.
Contrary to the popular view that people in Hong Kong are apolitical, 43.2% of respondents did not think that people in Hong Kong have little interest in political parties and do not care about their performance. Over a quarter (27.9%) supported this popular view.
Almost half of the respondents (46.9%) believed that ‘it would be difficult for political parties in Hong Kong to play a more important and active role before the implementation of universal suffrage in the HKSAR Chief Executive and the Legislative Council’. 21.7% disagreed with this statement and 23.9% said ‘in-between’. As for the future political scenario of Hong Kong, nearly one-third (31.4%) expressed the desire to have political parties ruling the HKSAR in the long run. 26.6% opposed this idea.
The top five political parties or organizations that gained the most support from the respondents were the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (12.8%), the Democratic Party (5.9%), the Civic Party (4.9%), the People Power (2.4%) and the New People’s Party (1.9%). There was still 57.5% of the respondents who claimed that they did not support any political parties or organizations in Hong Kong.