Survey Findings on HKSAR Government’s Popularity in November 2020 Released by Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at CUHK
A telephone survey was conducted from 16 November to 23 November, 2020 by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong to study the popularity of the HKSAR Government. The survey employed a dual-frame sampling design that included both landline and mobile phone numbers. A total of 703 respondents aged 18 or above (landline: 358; mobile: 345) were successfully interviewed, with response rates of 34.6% (landline) and 36.1% (mobile). The sampling error for the sample size of 703 is estimated at plus or minus 3.70 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. Furthermore, the data of this survey was weighted based on the probability of the respondents being selected via dual-frame sampling design and relevant age-sex distribution of the population published by the Census and Statistics Department before analysis.
Major findings are summarised as follows:
Satisfaction with the HKSAR Government. According to the current survey in November 2020, 16.4% of the 703 respondents expressed satisfaction towards the HKSAR Government, 61.9% said they were dissatisfied, and 21.1% answered ‘in-between’. The corresponding figures for October 2020 were 14.4%, 63.4%, and 21.9%, respectively. The statistical analysis shows that the results for November 2020 were insignificantly different from those of October 2020. When comparing the figures with that from the same month last year (i.e. November 2019), it was found that statistically significant difference was detected, reflecting the difference in percentage distribution between November 2020 and November 2019 was large.
Rating of Chief Executive Carrie Lam. The survey in November 2020 indicated that the performance rating of Chief Executive Carrie Lam (with a point scale ranging from 0 to 100, 50 as the passing mark) stood at 26.1 on average, upper than the rating for October 2020 (25.1). The statistical significance test (t-test) shows that the mean difference between the rating in November 2020 and the rating in October 2020 was statistically insignificant. When comparing her current rating (26.1) with that of November 2019 (22.4), the mean difference of the two months was statistically significant, indicating a significant increase of the rating.
Ratings of Three Secretaries. The ratings of the Chief Secretary for Administration (Mathew Cheung), Financial Secretary (Paul Chan) and Secretary for Justice (Teresa Cheng) in November 2020 were 27.7, 31.5 and 20.4 respectively. The corresponding figures in October 2020 were 25.7, 29.6 and 19.2. The comparison of the ratings of the three Secretaries between November 2020 and October 2020 did not find any statistically significant differences. When their ratings in November 2020 were compared with the respective figures in November 2019, except for the Chief Secretary for Administration, statistically significant differences were found for the Financial Secretary and the Secretary for Justice (both of their ratings of in November 2020 were higher than those in November 2019).
Trust in the HKSAR Government. As of November 2020, 19.2% of the respondents showed trust in the HKSAR Government and 53.4% expressed distrust; 26.7% answered ‘in-between’. The results in October 2020 were 17.9%, 58.9%, and 22.3%, respectively. No statistically significant difference was found in trust in the HKSAR Government between November 2020 and October 2020. Also, when comparing the figure in the current survey with those of November 2019, the difference between the percentages in November 2020 (Trust: 19.2%; Distrust: 53.4%) and the percentages in November 2019 (Trust: 15.1%; Distrust: 59.4%) was observed to be statistically insignificant.
Trust in the Central Government. Regarding the level of trust in the Central Government in November 2020, 14.8% said they trusted it, 56.5% answered the opposite, and 25.9% said ‘in-between’. The respective figures from October 2020 were 15.2%, 59.7%, and 22.5%. No statistically significant difference was found between November 2020 and October 2020. And the difference between the percentages in November 2020 (Trust: 14.8%; Distrust: 56.5%) and the percentages in November 2019 (Trust: 14.0%; Distrust: 59.2%) was also found to be statistically insignificant.
In conclusion, the current survey results in November 2020 indicate that the public satisfaction level of the government performance, the performance rating of the Chief Executive and the three Secretaries, and even the trust in the HKSAR Government and the Central Government were not significantly different from those in October 2020 (statistical significance test shows the differences are insignificant). When compared with the same month of the previous year, the level of satisfaction with the government performance, the performance ratings of Chief Executive, Financial Secretary and the Secretary for Justice in November 2020 were significantly higher than those in November 2019; while the performance rating of the Chief Secretary for Administration, the trust in the HKSAR Government and the Central Government were not significantly different between November 2020 and November 2019.
 It should be noted that the survey was completed on 23 November, and the Chief Executive announced the 2020 Policy Address on 25 November. Therefore, the current survey failed to reflect the impact of the Policy Address on popular ratings.