Carrie Lam

Two thirds of poll respondents think political wrangling in Hong Kong is serious

But 40 per cent believe social conflict will decline under Carrie Lam

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 August, 2017, 3:59pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 August, 2017, 3:59pm

About two thirds of Hong Kong people polled in a Chinese University survey found political wrangling in the city was “serious”, with just 6.4 per cent thinking this was not the case.

However, some 40 per cent of 721 respondents expected social conflict to become “less serious” in the next five years with Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor replacing Leung Chun-ying as chief executive, according to the poll by the university’s Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies.

About the same proportion – 36.9 per cent – thought the severity of social conflict would be “more or less the same” as now in the next five years.

A total of 10.2 per cent believed it could “get more serious” under Lam’s governance.

The survey was conducted from July 13 to 18 at the peak of the controversy over the disqualification of four pan-democratic lawmakers – “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, Nathan Law Kwun-chung, Lau Siu-lai, and Edward Yiu Chung-yim – over improper oath-taking last October.

On another question, close to half of the respondents said the current conflict between Hong Kong people and the government was “serious”, with another 33 per cent saying it was “in-between”. This compared with 66.5 per cent and 24.2 per cent of the respondents who picked “serious” and “in-between” in a similar survey conducted in March 2016.

But an overwhelming 73.4 per cent in this year’s poll agreed that people should “stick to peaceful, rational and non-violent means” in fighting for their demands.

On resorting to “radical means” to force the government to heed the people’s demands, only 15 per cent endorsed such a strategy, with 59.1 per cent opposing it.

About 15.9 per cent of people supported and 57.8 per cent opposed “radical means” in last year’s survey.

On fighting for civil rights, 69.5 per cent of the respondents preferred “making concessions by both sides to seek common ground”. This compared with 20.7 per cent who believed people should stick to their own principles and not make concessions.