Following is a question by the Hon James To and an oral reply by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, in the Legislative Council today (November 7):
Will the Government inform this Council:
(a) whether it has conducted any public opinion survey on the support for candidates running for the Legislative Council (LegCo) by-election for the Hong Kong Island geographical constituency to be held on December 2 this year; if it has, of the government department responsible for conducting the survey, as well as the number of surveys that have been and will be conducted on the by-election;
(b) apart from the above by-election, whether the Government has conducted similar surveys on LegCo general elections or by-elections since 2000; if it has, of a breakdown of the survey subjects concerned and the expenses incurred; and
(c) whether it has disclosed the results of the surveys referred to in (a) and (b) to weekly magazines or newspapers; if it has, of the purpose of such disclosure; if not, whether it will conduct investigation into weekly magazines or newspapers reporting on the survey results?
On parts (a) and (b) of the question raised by the Hon James To, the Central Policy Unit commissions academic and commercial research institutes regularly to conduct opinion polls on different public policy issues, including political, economic, social, quality of life issues, etc. The findings are for the Government's internal reference. We generally will not make public information relating to these polls.
As for part (c) of the question, we generally will not comment in detail and publicly on speculative reports.
However, we would like to reiterate that the Central Policy Unit will not disclose to any weekly magazines or newspapers findings of opinion polls that are intended for internal reference.
Ends/Wednesday, November 7, 2007