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LCQ19: Dissemination of details of the public opinion surveys commissioned by the Government

     Following is a question by the Hon Frederick Fung and a written reply by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Raymond Tam, in the Legislative Council today (March 18):


     It has been reported that on February 28 this year, the Chief Executive (CE) told reporters that the results of a public opinion survey recently commissioned by the Government showed that more than half of Hong Kong people were agreeable to the selection of CE by universal suffrage in 2017 to be implemented in accordance with the Decision made by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on August 31 last year on issues such as the selection of CE of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region by universal suffrage. Yet, he did not provide any details of the public opinion survey. Some members of the public have complained to me that the Government has recently disseminated results of public opinion surveys to the media in a selective or incomprehensive manner from time to time, making it difficult for them to judge the credibility of such survey results. They also query that the employment of such a practice by the Government was an attempt to manipulate public opinion. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the details of the aforesaid public opinion survey regarding (i) the organisation commissioned to conduct the survey, (ii) the content of the questionnaire, (iii) the method and form of the survey, (iv) the number of respondents and the response rate, (v) the distribution of age, gender and political attitude of the respondents, (vi) the raw data, and (vii) the analytical results of the survey data;

(2) whether it has assessed the consequences of CE selectively disseminating a particular result of the aforesaid public opinion survey, including whether it has resulted in the credibility of the survey results being questioned and the Government being accused of manipulating public opinion; if it has not assessed, of the reasons for that; and

(3) whether it will consider disclosing concomitantly the relevant details when it disseminates the results of Government-commissioned public opinion surveys in future; if it will not, of the reasons for that?



     In consultation with the Chief Executive's Office and the Central Policy Unit (CPU), our reply to the questions raised by Hon Fung is as follows.

     The opinion poll which the Chief Executive referred to on February 28 was conducted by a professional agency commissioned by the CPU. The CPU commissions professional research agencies to conduct opinion polls on major social, economic and political issues from time to time. Such polls are for Government's internal reference only, and relevant details are generally not made public.

Ends/Wednesday, March 18, 2015