Freedom to run polls is not at risk, academic says

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 April, 2012, 12:00am


The findings of a study on freedom to publish opinion polls in more than 60 countries and territories, including Hong Kong, will be published in June, when the city hosts its first international conference on polling.

Robert Chung Ting-yiu, director of the University of Hong Kong's public opinion programme, which will host the World Association for Public Opinion Research's 65th annual conference, said the city has a high degree of freedom to conduct polls.

He dismissed concern that opinion polls would be subjected to tighter control when chief executive-elect Leung Chun-ying takes office in July.

Hong Kong is 'largely free', Chung said. 'I am not worried ...

'If Leung wants to be re-elected five years on, he should safeguard Hong Kong's core values and let the central government understand local people's demands. Hongkongers do not want to mess with the principle of 'one country, two systems'.'

Chung expects about 200 to 300 academics and guests from around the world to take part in the conference, to be held from June 14 to 16 at HKU's campus in Pok Fu Lam. More than 180 papers will be presented, conference secretary Winnie Lee Wing-yi said.

It is the first time that the conference has been held outside Europe and North America and the fifth time a worldwide study on freedom to publish poll results has been conducted. Previous studies were done in 1984, 1992, 1996 and 2002.

Lee said the findings as to whether and to what extent polling is restricted in at least 66 jurisdictions would be released on June 15.