29 October 2020

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



A telephone survey was conducted from 19 October to 23 October 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 715 respondents aged 18 or above (landline: 364; mobile: 351) were successfully interviewed, with response rates of 36.3% (landline) and 36.1% (mobile).  The sampling error for the sample size of 715 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 October 2020, 14.4% of the 715 respondents expressed satisfaction towards the HKSAR Government, 63.4% said they were dissatisfied, and 21.9% answered ‘in-between’.  The corresponding figures for September 2020 were 13.8%, 64.3%, and 21.2%, respectively.  The statistical analysis shows that the results for October 2020 were insignificantly different from those of September 2020.  When comparing the figures with that from the same month last year (i.e. October 2019), it was found that no statistically significant difference was detected, reflecting the difference in percentage distribution between October 2020 and October 2019 was quite small.

Rating of Chief Executive Carrie Lam.  The survey in October 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 25.1 on average, slightly upper than the rating for September 2020 (24.5).  The statistical significance test (t-test) shows that the mean difference between the rating in October 2020 and the rating in September 2020 was statistically insignificant.  When comparing her current rating (25.1) with that of October 2019 (25.5), the mean difference of the two months was also statistically insignificant.

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 October 2020 were 25.7, 29.6 and 19.2 respectively.  The corresponding figures in September 2020 were 24.8, 29.1 and 18.2.  The comparison of the ratings of the three Secretaries between October 2020 and September 2020 did not find any statistically significant differences.  When their ratings in October 2020 were compared with the respective figures in October 2019, except for the Chief Secretary for Administration (his rating of 25.7 in October of this year was significantly lower than his rating of 30.9 in October of last year), no statistically significant differences were found for the Financial Secretary and the Secretary for Justice.

Trust in the HKSAR Government.  As of October 2020, 17.9% of the respondents showed trust in the HKSAR Government and 58.9% expressed distrust; 22.3% answered ‘in-between’.  The results in September 2020 were 16.8%, 58.6%, and 23.4%, respectively.  No statistically significant difference was found in trust in the HKSAR Government between October 2020 and September 2020.  Also, when comparing the figure in the current survey with those of October 2019, the difference between the percentages in October 2020 (Trust: 17.9%; Distrust: 58.9%) and the percentages in October 2019 (Trust: 16.0%; Distrust: 55.7%) was observed to be statistically insignificant.

Trust in the Central Government.  Regarding the level of trust in the Central Government in October 2020, 15.2% said they trusted it, 59.7% answered the opposite, and 22.5% said ‘in-between’.  The respective figures from September 2020 were 14.4%, 60.1%, and 23.0%.  No statistically significant difference was found between October 2020 and September 2020.  And the difference between the percentages in October 2020 (Trust: 15.2%; Distrust: 59.7%) and the percentages in October 2019 (Trust: 14.0%; Distrust: 58.4%) was also found to be statistically insignificant.

In conclusion, the current survey results in October 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 SAR government and the central government were not significantly different from those in September 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 Secretary for Administration, all the other popularity rating indicators in October 2020 were not significantly different from those in October 2019.


[1]  Since a dual-frame sampling design was employed, the data of survey in October 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.

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