Poll finds pro and anti-establishment camps have similar views on policy
Hong Kong could return to politics as usual after universal suffrage is implemented, as both the pro- and anti-establishment camps place equal importance on the same policy issues, an opinion poll by the Hong Kong Policy Research Institute found.
The only difference in value judgments was in whether or not the central government's view should be given much importance in policymaking. "In terms of social welfare, individual freedom, property rights, press freedom, rule of law, human rights, democracy, one-country two-systems, there's no difference at all [in how important the two groups think they are]," said Andrew Fung Ho-keung, the director of the think tank, whose members are considered to have pro-establishment views.
On July 1, the institute polled 523 people who identified themselves as either pro- or anti-establishment - 291 took part in the protest march, and 232 took part in handover celebrations.
The interviewees were asked to rate how important certain issues were to them on a seven-point scale, with 0 being the least important and 7 being the most.
On most issues, more than 90 per cent of respondents gave scores of about 6. In the case of whether or not good relationships with the central government mattered, pro-establishment individuals gave an average of 6.2 points, while the opposition had a more moderate 4.5. Eighty-four per cent of the pro-establishment group thought it was not appropriate to stage disruptive counter-rallies, while 52.9 per cent of the opposition agreed. And while 57.2 per cent of the pro-establishment camp agreed to respect the opposition parties' requests or demands, only 18.2 per cent of the demonstrators would consider the central government's opinion.
"As far as polls go, it's not the most statistically sound, but it is a representation of the opposition and the supporters," Fung said.