2 September 2020

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



A telephone survey was conducted from 20 August to 26 August, 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 dual-frame sampling design that included both landline and mobile phone numbers.  A total of 717 respondents aged 18 or above (landline: 364; mobile: 353) were successfully interviewed, with response rates of 35.9% (landline) and 37.6% (mobile).  The sampling error for the sample size of 717 is estimated at plus or minus 3.66 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.[1]

Major findings are summarised as follows:

Satisfaction with the HKSAR Government.  According to the current survey in August 2020, 15.8% of the 717 respondents expressed satisfaction towards the HKSAR Government, 63.0% said they were dissatisfied, and 20.8% answered ‘in-between’.  The corresponding figures for June 2020 were 13.9%, 66.3%, and 19.0%, respectively.  The statistical analysis shows that the results for August 2020 were insignificantly different from those of June 2020[2].  When comparing the figures with that from the same month last year (i.e. August 2019), it was found that no statistically significant relation was detected, reflecting the difference in percentage distribution between August 2020 and August 2019 was quite small.

Rating of Chief Executive Carrie Lam.  The survey in August 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 25.4 on average, slightly higher than the rating for June 2020 (24.2).  The statistical significance test (t-test) shows that the mean difference between the rating in August 2020 and the rating in June 2020 was statistically insignificant.  When comparing her current rating (25.4) with that of August 2019 (28.4), 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 August 2020 were 25.2, 30.0 and 19.5 respectively.  The corresponding figures in June 2020 were 25.5, 29.6 and 18.6.  The comparison of the ratings of the three Secretaries between August 2020 and June 2020 shows that statistically insignificant differences were found.  When their ratings in August 2020 were compared with the respective figures in August 2019, except the Chief Secretary for Administration, statistically significant differences were not found for the Financial Secretary and the Secretary for Justice.

Trust in the HKSAR Government.  As of August 2020, 18.6% of the respondents showed trust in the HKSAR Government and 57.5% expressed distrust; 21.7% answered ‘in-between’.  The results in June 2020 were 18.1%, 58.0%, and 21.5%, respectively.  There was statistically insignificant difference being found in trust in the HKSAR Government between August 2020 and June 2020.  Also, when comparing the figure in the current survey with those of August 2019, the statistically insignificant difference between the percentages in August 2020 (Trust: 18.6%; Distrust: 57.5%) and the percentages in August 2019 (Trust: 17.7%; Distrust: 54.6%) was observed.

Trust in the Central Government.  Regarding the level of trust in the Central Government in August 2020, 15.4% said they trusted it, 60.8% answered the opposite, and 20.5% said ‘in-between’.  The respective figures from June 2020 were 13.9%, 66.6%, and 16.6%.  Statistically insignificant difference was found between August 2020 and June 2020.  And the difference between the percentages in August 2020 (Trust: 15.4%; Distrust: 60.8%) and the percentages in August 2019 (Trust: 15.1%; Distrust: 57.5%) was also found to be statistically insignificant.In conclusion, the current survey results in August 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 insignificantly different from those in June 2020 (statistical significance test shows the differences are insignificant).  When compared with the same month of the previous year, except the performance rating of the Chief Executive and the Chief Secretary for Administration, all the other popularity rating indicators in August 2020 were not significantly different from those in August 2019.

In conclusion, the current survey results in August 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 insignificantly different from those in June 2020 (statistical significance test shows the differences are insignificant).  When compared with the same month of the previous year, except the performance rating of the Chief Executive and the Chief Secretary for Administration, all the other popularity rating indicators in August 2020 were not significantly different from those in August 2019.



[1]  Since dual-frame sampling design was employed, the data of survey in August was weighted based on the probability of the respondents being selected and relevant age-sex distribution of the population published by the Census and Statistics Department.

[2]     The fieldwork of monthly survey in July was not carried out due to a new wave of novel coronavirus outbreak in Hong Kong.