Survey Findings on Public Opinions on 2018 Legislative Council By-electionReleased by Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at CUHK
A telephone survey was conducted from 21 to 26 March 2018 by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) to gauge public opinions on the impacts of Legislative Council by-election held on 11 March. 733 respondents aged 18 or above were successfully interviewed, with a response rate of 37.0%. The sampling error is + or –3.62 percentage points at a confidence level of 95%.
Major findings are summarized as follows:
In the Legislative Council by-election held on 11 March, the pan-democracy camp regained only two of the three seats in the geographical constituency and lost the seat of the functional constituency. The gap of the total number of votes between the pan-democracy and the pro-establishment camps got narrower. Some believed that the level of support for the pro-democrats in the future Legislative Council elections would be gradually getting lower. The survey results showed that there was relatively larger number of respondents who agreed with this view. 38.5% of them said they agreed and only 21.1% thought the opposite. 32.3% answered “in-between”.
Prior to the by-election, the prevailing view was that Yiu Chung-yim would win the directly-elected seat successfully. Hence, the defeat of Yiu should consider to be a shock. However, the survey found that 37.2% of the respondents said the by-election results were within their expectation, a ratio that was only 2.5% lower than that of those who thought that it was out of their expectation (39.7%). Besides, the percentage of “don’t know / hard to tell / never think of it” was also rather high. 23.1% of them replied with these answers.
The respondents were also asked for their assessments of the impacts of the by-election. Regarding the impact on government performance, 35.5% of the respondents did not think the results of by-election would have any impact. 28.5% believed that it would bring positive impact and 21.6% opined it would bring negative impact. 44.5% of them also thought the election results would not affect the Hong Kong-Mainland relationship. Only 25.1% and 15.4% opined that the results would exert positive and negative impact on it respectively. Concerning the impact on the operation of the Legislative Council, 29.7% believed it would bring positive impact while 28.8% did not think it would have any impact. 28.2% opined it would bring negative impact.
36.0% of the respondents worried that the capability of the legislators to monitor the government would be weakened after the by-election. Nevertheless, 34.0% said they were not worried about that. 24.0% replied “in-between”. Besides, about half of the respondents (50.3%) opined that the pan-democrat legislators would behave about the same in the Legislative Council. Only 20.9% estimated that their behavior would be more radical and 16.3% believed that their behavior would be more moderate.