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


A telephone survey was conducted from 18 September to 24 September, 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 737 respondents aged 18 or above (landline: 386; mobile: 351) were successfully interviewed, with response rates of 34.2% (landline) and 35.7% (mobile).  The sampling error for the sample size of 737 is estimated at plus or minus 3.61 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 September 2020, 13.8% of the 737 respondents expressed satisfaction towards the HKSAR Government, 64.3% said they were dissatisfied, and 21.2% answered ‘in-between’.  The corresponding figures for August 2020 were 15.8%, 63.0%, and 20.8%, respectively.  The statistical analysis shows that the results for September 2020 were insignificantly different from those of August 2020.  When comparing the figures with that from the same month last year (i.e. September 2019), it was found that no statistically significant difference was detected, reflecting the difference in percentage distribution between September 2020 and September 2019 was quite small.

Rating of Chief Executive Carrie Lam.  The survey in September 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 24.5 on average, slightly lower than the rating for August 2020 (25.4).  The statistical significance test (t-test) shows that the mean difference between the rating in September 2020 and the rating in August 2020 was statistically insignificant. When comparing her current rating (24.5) with that of September 2019 (28.2), 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 September 2020 were 24.8, 29.1 and 18.2 respectively.  The corresponding figures in August 2020 were 25.2, 30.0 and 19.5.  The comparison of the ratings of the three Secretaries between September 2020 and August 2020 did not find any statistically significant differences.  When their ratings in September 2020 were compared with the respective figures in September 2019, except for the Chief Secretary for Administration (his rating of 24.8 in September of this year was significantly lower than his rating of 32.1 in September 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 September 2020, 16.8% of the respondents showed trust in the HKSAR Government and 58.6% expressed distrust; 23.4% answered ‘in-between’. The results in August 2020 were 18.6%, 57.5%, and 21.7%, respectively.  No statistically significant difference was found in trust in the HKSAR Government between September 2020 and August 2020.  Also, when comparing the figure in the current survey with those of September 2019, the difference between the percentages in September 2020 (Trust: 16.8%; Distrust: 58.6%) and the percentages in September 2019 (Trust: 17.0%; Distrust: 53.2%) was observed to be statistically insignificant.

Trust in the Central Government.  Regarding the level of trust in the Central Government in September 2020, 14.4% said they trusted it, 60.1% answered the opposite, and 23.0% said ‘in-between’.  The respective figures from August 2020 were 15.4%, 60.8%, and 20.5%.  No statistically significant difference was found between September 2020 and August 2020.  And the difference between the percentages in September 2020 (Trust: 14.4%; Distrust: 60.1%) and the percentages in September 2019 (Trust: 14.5%; Distrust: 58.0%) was also found to be statistically insignificant.

In conclusion, the current survey results in September 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 not significantly different from those in August 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 September 2020 were not significantly different from those in September 2019.



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