• Wed
  • Aug 20, 2014
  • Updated: 5:08pm
Occupy Central
NewsHong Kong
POLITICS

Nearly 60pc oppose Occupy Central, survey finds

Many worry that the protest will damage the economy, survey finds

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 January, 2014, 4:59am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 January, 2014, 2:18pm

Fifty-nine per cent of Hongkongers oppose the Occupy Central campaign being planned by democracy activists, according to a survey, and about 58 per cent fear it might damage the economy.

Only 41 per cent supported it. But this 18 percentage point margin would narrow to 10 points if Beijing stepped up threats to deter people from joining the campaign. Just over half of respondents said they would still oppose the campaign in such a case.

Organisers of the so-called civil disobedience campaign are seeking to mobilise at least 10,000 protesters to block the streets of Central in the summer unless the government comes up with what they consider a true democratic system for the chief executive election in 2017.

The telephone survey was conducted by the Hong Kong Transition Project, a research institute, from December 18 to 31. It asked 1,007 people about their views on the protest and the government's public consultation on political reforms.

Younger people tended to be more supportive of the campaign, with 59 per cent and 69 per cent of those in the 18-20 and 21-29 age groups respectively saying they would "strongly support" or "support" it. Only 39 per cent of those aged 50 to 59 and 60 to 69 supported the campaign. Some 184 respondents were under 30.

Pollster Professor Michael DeGolyer said the findings might pose a challenge to the Occupy Central organisers.

"Students or young people usually react emotionally. The organisers might find it difficult to control them," DeGolyer said.

A poll in October by the University of Hong Kong's public opinion programme found that only 25 per cent of respondents supported the campaign, while 55 per cent opposed it.

Beijing has been highly critical of the protest, fearing it could push Hong Kong into turmoil.

Without mentioning Occupy Central, Hong Kong-based mainland envoy Hao Tiechuan, publicity director of Beijing's liaison office, warned last week that Beijing could impose a "state of emergency" if it deemed the Hong Kong government had lost control and national unity or security was under threat.

On political reform, the survey found 33 per cent of people had trust in the consultation process; 21 per cent did not. About 47 per cent had no comment.

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John Adams
Well I for one certainly oppose this stupid occupy central proposal. It's ill-conceived and immature
It will end up in chaos ( if not some mild violence) and will do nothing to further the democracy cause.
The people power raving-loony-monster parties will jump on the band wagon and go even crazier than ever they do on their July 1 road-side stands (have you ever watched them do it ? ).
And the Scholarism and younger free-thinking voters will espouse it as if it's something like Tiananmen to "sacrifice themselves for", which will only damage the next generation.
Stupid.
chuchu59
Beijing and the HK Government have only themselves to blame for a staggering 41% in support of the movement. Normally, in such a financial centre as HK I believe more than 80% would be opposed to the movement as it affects the daily livelihood of many workers. The authorities have failed to show any insincerity in diffusing the threat through reconciliation and Carrie's insistence that the survey findings of the OC Group last week bears no relevance to the consultation was the last straw for many. This is only playing into the hands of the Movement. I initially thought the Movement had no chance of getting support from the public but it seems its coming close to being an even split.
lexishk
41% is huge. When it comes to politics, most people prefer to do nothing most of the time. For this many to respond positively to Occupy Central shows a massive groundswell of support for popular participation in the running of the city and enormous dissatisfaction with our current disenfranchised state. Revolutions have begun and come to fruition with far less.
ianson
True to recent form, SCMP pushes the story in favour of the Beijing line by (1) trumpeting the non-existent "60" per cent and, more importantly, (2) failing to highlight the huge INCREASE in support as compared to the HKU study, i.e. up from 25 to 41 per cent. The trend, if these surveys are to be believed, is strongly TOWARDS support and 41 per cent is a huge public outcry against Beijing's dishonest attitude to the Basic Law.
lexishk
Same old same old spiel from you, mercedes2233.
When society stops listening to its young people, it stagnates and eventually collapses.
chaz_hen
How could it even affect the economy if basically EVERYTHING is done electronically and online these days, anyway? The whole hand wringing and insinuating threats over this is utterly silly... ASIA'S WORLD CITY!! Hah!!
chuchu59
Opposition to the movement because it will create chaos is understandable but growing public support for it, even if pursued blindly, hardly bodes well for HK as it will well and truly split HK people.
Time for reconciliation folks.
lexishk
So what would you prefer to see, John Adams?
("Stupid...stupid" is hardly the epitome of maturity.)
mercedes2233
The statistics are "Younger people tended to be more supportive of the campaign, with 59 per cent and 69 per cent of those in the 18-20 and 21-29 age groups respectively saying they would "strongly support" or "support" it. Only 39 per cent of those aged 50 to 59 and 60 to 69 supported the campaign. Some 184 respondents were under 30."
Namely, the supporters were mostly in the younger age group. Ask them if they resented their parents. I'll bet that the majority would agree to that too. In short, I don't conclude much from this report. I would however fear universal suffrage when a popular film star/ singer, or Long Hair, or Foul Mouth, might get elected by the majority.
daily
It won't cripple the economy...........it will just embarrass the hell out of HK and the international community would just laugh at us, because of a small group of ignorant people who have nothing better to do than to just sit around in Central.........

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