28 April 2020

Survey Findings on HKSAR Government’s Popularity in April 2020
Released by Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at CUHK



A telephone survey was conducted from 17 April to 23 April, 2020 by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong to study the popularity of the HKSAR Government.  A total of 722 respondents aged 18 or above were successfully interviewed, with a response rate of 39.9%.  The sampling error is estimated at plus or minus 3.65 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. 

Major findings are summarised as follows: 

Satisfaction with the HKSAR Government.  According to the current survey in April 2020, 17.7% of the 722 respondents expressed satisfaction towards the HKSAR Government, 60.4% said they were dissatisfied, and 21.5% answered ‘in-between’.  The corresponding figures for March 2020 were 16.0%, 64.3%, and 19.5%, respectively.  The statistical analysis shows that the results for April 2020 were not significantly different from those of March 2020.  However, when comparing the figures with that from the same month last year (i.e. April 2019), it was found that the percentage of satisfaction in April 2020 (17.7%) was substantially lower than that of April 2019 (26.6%).  The difference in percentage distribution between April 2020 and April 2019 was statistically significant. 

Rating of Chief Executive Carrie Lam.  The survey in April 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 26.8 on average, higher than the rating for March 2020 (25.0).  The statistical significance test (t-test) shows that the mean difference between the rating in April 2020 and the rating in March 2020 was statistically insignificant.  But, when comparing her current rating (26.8) with that of April 2019 (51.0), the mean difference of the two months was statistically significant. 

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 April 2020 were 30.0, 32.0 and 19.6 respectively.  The corresponding figures in March 2020 were 29.1, 30.0 and 17.4.  The comparison of the ratings of the three Secretaries between April 2020 and March 2020 shows that no statistically significant differences were found.  However, when their ratings in April 2020 were compared with the respective figures in April 2019, statistically significant differences were found for all of the three Secretaries. 

Trust in the HKSAR Government.  As of April 2020, 19.3% of the respondents showed trust in the HKSAR Government and 53.3% expressed distrust; 26.0% answered ‘in-between’.  The results in March 2020 were 17.8%, 55.8%, and 25.3%, respectively.  There was no statistically significant difference being found in trust in the HKSAR Government between April 2020 and March 2020.  However, when comparing the figure in the current survey with those of April 2019, the statistically significant difference between the percentages in April 2020 (Trust: 19.3%; Distrust: 53.3%) and the percentages in April 2019 (Trust: 26.7%; Distrust: 28.3%) was observed.

Trust in the Central Government.  Regarding the level of trust in the Central Government in April 2020, 16.7% said they trusted it, 59.8% answered the opposite, and 20.2% said ‘in-between’.  The respective figures from March 2020 were 18.4%, 57.8%, and 19.4%.  No statistically significant difference was found between April 2020 and March 2020.  But the difference between the percentages in April 2020 (Trust: 16.7%; Distrust: 59.8%) and the percentages in April 2019 (Trust: 22.0%; Distrust: 39.5%) was found to be statistically significant. 

In conclusion, the current survey results in April 2020 show that the public satisfaction level of the government performance, the performance rating of the Chief Executive, the three Secretaries, and even the trust in the SAR government and the central government were found not significantly different from those in March 2020 (statistical significance test shows the differences are not significant).  When compared with the same month of the previous year, all the above popularity rating indicators in April 2020 were significantly lower than those in April 2019,  However, it is worth noting that after several months of lows, the chief executive’s rating rose from 23.4 in January to 26.8 in April, and the percentage of satisfaction of government performance also rose from 11.4% in January to 17.7% in April (statistical significance tests show that the differences are significant). It can be observed that the above two indicators have been undergoing a slow but gradual improvement.

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