HONG KONG enters 1995 with its hopes and fears resting on whether Sino-British relations worsen or improve during the coming 12 months. An exclusive Sunday Morning Post poll found that 56 per cent of those surveyed wished the new year would bring Hong Kong better ties between its two sovereign powers, with 44 per cent putting it top of their wish list for the territory. The other top hopes for Hong Kong in 1995 were a further fall in property prices, a rising Hang Seng Index, and Governor Chris Patten's recall to London. But the telephone poll of 1,019 people - conducted from last Wednesday to Friday - also found 40 per cent feared Sino-British ties might take a turn for the worse this year. However, they were almost matched by the 36 per cent who feared further fatal accidents, similar to last summer's Kwun Lung Lau tragedy. Other widespread fears for 1995 included the death of Chinese patriarch Deng Xiaoping, and a slump in the stock market. Opinions were evenly divided on whether the new year would be better than the old: 27 per cent said the events of 1994 led them to believe 1995 would be a better year for Hong Kong, but a similar number said they expected it to be worse. Thirty-five per cent anticipated this year would be similar to the last one, while 11 per cent expressed no opinion. These findings are markedly similar to those of a previous poll about popular expectations for 1994, although the number of pessimists has increased slightly, from the 21 per cent recorded in the December 1993 survey. Hong Kong Polling and Business Research managing director Citi Hung Ching-tin, who conducted the survey, said this showed popular expectations for the future seemed to have settled down, following the conclusion of the political reform row. 'This seems to be a period of stagnation with opinions not moving in either direction,' he said. The poll found Hong Kong people were also split about their financial prospects for the new year. While 32 per cent expected to be better off, 27 per cent feared they would be worse off. However, 36 per cent expected to see little change in their financial status, with five per cent unsure. This is also similar to the findings of the 1993 poll. Buying a flat was top of respondents' personal wish list for 1995, although finding a new job came a close second. Emigrating or acquiring a foreign passport, having good health, and earning or saving more were also popular wishes for the new year. Nine per cent planned to buy shares over the year, while a further six per cent would consider doing so. But only three per cent wanted to get married, with a similar number wishing to win the Mark 6. When asked to name all their hopes for Hong Kong in the new year, the 56 per cent nominating improved Sino-British ties were followed by 31 per cent wishing for a fall in property prices, 17 per cent hoping for a rocketing Hang Seng Index, and seven per cent desiring Mr Patten's recall. Other than worsening Sino-British ties and further deadly disasters, the complete list of their fears for the territory in 1995, saw 16 per cent cite the danger of Mr Deng dying, and a similar number were afraid of a stock market slump, while eight per cent feared a property price crash. There were also some surprise results: four per cent said one of their hopes for Hong Kong in 1995 was Mr Deng's death - with half of these putting this top of their wish list. Five per cent were afraid Mr Patten might be sacked, although only a statistically insignificant one per cent put this top of their wish list. Mr Hung said this small group, who wanted Mr Deng's death and feared Mr Patten's recall, represented the hard-core of anti-China democrats in the territory.