31 July 2013

Survey Findings on Evaluation of Political Parties in Hong Kong
Released by Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at CUHK



A telephone survey was conducted from 22 to 24 July 2013 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. 840 respondents aged 18 or above were successfully interviewed, with a response rate of 45.4%.  The sampling error is + or –3.38 at a confidence level of 95%. 

Major findings are summarized as follows: 

While 41.5% of the respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the overall performance of political parties in Hong Kong, only 7.5% said they are satisfied.  48.7% answered 'so-so'.  When they were asked if they viewed political parties more positively or negatively when compared with that of last year, 57.6% of 840 respondents said their overall impression on political parties has worsened, 4.8% reported an improvement, and 17.3% indicated no change.  Prospectively, nearly half of the respondents (47.9%) were pessimistic about the development of political parties in Hong Kong in the next decade, only 9.0% showed optimism.

Concerning perceived roles and functions of political parties in Hong Kong, over one-third (34.2%) agreed with the statement that 'Political parties in Hong Kong could absorb and train political talents'.  27.5% disagreed with it and 33.3% said 'so-so'.  When the respondents were asked if political parties in Hong Kong could effectively monitor government in order to reduce blunders in policy implementation, 31.3% agreed and 27.3% disagreed.  Moreover, 27.3% of the respondents said that political parties in Hong Kong could represent different views of the public, 31.3% disagreed.  Three-fifths agreed that 'in Hong Kong, many government policies could not be smoothly implemented without the support of political parties' and 15.4% disagreed with this view. 

In the survey, questions about impression of the public on political parties were also asked.  While over two-fifths of the respondents (42.0%) agreed that 'those who join political parties in Hong Kong are for self-interests rather than genuinely serving the public', 13.5% showed opposite view and 41.7% said 'so-so'.  Furthermore, 55.4% of the respondents thought that political parties in Hong Kong were not doing their job but engaging in arguments among themselves and 16.2% said otherwise. 

Contrary to the popular view that people in Hong Kong are apolitical, 43.7% of respondents did not think that people in Hong Kong are not interested in politics and do not care about the performance of political parties.  A minority (24.0%) supported this popular view. 

Almost half of the respondents (48.3%) 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'.  22.4% disagreed with this statement and 24.4% said 'so-so'.  As for the future political scenario of Hong Kong, nearly two-fifths (37.4%) expressed the desire to have political parties ruling the HKSAR in the long run.  24.4% 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 (11.2%), the Democratic Party (7.6%), the Civic Party (5.7%), the People Power (2.1%) and the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (1.8%). There was still 58.1% of the respondents claimed that they did not support any political parties or organizations in Hong Kong.