Satisfaction with city's political situation at all-time low, HKU study finds
Number of residents unhappy with political problems hits lowest-ever level, poll finds
Public satisfaction with the current political situation has fallen to an all-time low, a University of Hong Kong survey found.
A total of 1,019 randomly selected respondents were interviewed in the HKU public opinion programme's biannual poll from December 20 to 30 on their opinions about economic, livelihood and political issues.
A mere 7 per cent of respondents were satisfied with the state of politics in the city, in contrast with 69 per cent who were dissatisfied. The net satisfaction rate - reached by subtracting the dissatisfied from the satisfied - was negative 62 per cent, 19 percentage points lower than the previous survey in June last year.
It was the lowest since the survey started in 1992.
In-depth analysis showed the more educated the respondents, the more dissatisfied they were with the current political situation, the pollster said yesterday.
People had heightened concerns about politics. In a one-in-three question, 16 per cent of respondents said political problems concerned them more than livelihood and economic problems. That was three percentage points higher than the last survey. The team put this down to the government's political reform consultation launched at the start of December. The margin of error was plus or minus 3 per cent.
Political commentator and former civil service secretary Joseph Wong Wing-ping said the results were hardly surprising due to the big number of political debates over the past six months.
"In the past, political conflicts were usually between the government and pan-democrats. Now, the central government joins discussions on political reform, and conflicts arise in the pro-government camp," he said.
HKTV being refused a free-to-air TV licence and the Court of Final Appeal's ruling that it was unconstitutional to deny social security to new immigrants also added to the fire, he said.
Chinese University political scientist Dr Ma Ngok said the HKTV incident angered many Hongkongers who were politically neutral, significantly lowering their satisfaction rates.
Meanwhile, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, and the justice and constitutional affairs secretaries, faced calls yesterday for them to denounce the pan-democrats' "public nomination" idea as "illegal", at a forum of about 400 members of the city's five business chambers.
Raymond Tam Chi-yuen, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, responded that "there is zero possibility for any idea which seeks to bypass or weaken the nominating committee to be in line with the Basic Law". But he said it would be "too rash" to label anything as "illegal" without studying its details.