A HUGE majority of Hong Kong people have given up hope of being allowed to live in Britain after 1997 despite Governor Chris Patten's call for 3.3 million residents to be granted the right of abode, according to a Sunday Morning Post poll. The poll prompted legislators - including those who still think Britain should change its policy - to concede that hopes of a shift had been destroyed by London's uncompromising position. But Mr Patten remained determined to continue to push the issue which has brought a stiff reaction from both Conservative and Labour politicians. 'It doesn't change our policy,' the Governor's spokesman, Kerry McGlynn, said last night. During his current visit to London, Mr Patten is expected to personally deliver his plea on right of abode to ministers. The survey findings could make his task more difficult. Among those polled, 81 per cent did not take issue with the British Government's refusal to grant the right of abode to about 3.3 million British Dependent Territories Citizens. And 52 per cent indicated they regarded Britain's opposition to granting the right of abode as 'no problem at all'. The poll - the latest quarterly confidence survey conducted by Survey Research Hongkong - found that 29 per cent believed the British attitude was acceptable, 14 per cent said it was not so good and only five per cent said it was totally unacceptable. Asked about the poll findings, legislators expressed the view that people had resigned themselves to not being able to secure the right to live in Britain. 'They don't think the UK Government will give them the passport so don't think about it,' said Democratic Party legislator James To Kun-sun. He made a personal plea on the issue to delegates to the Conservative Party conference in Blackpool this month. The pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong said the survey showed people now realised it was no longer worth pushing Britain for the right of abode. 'I believe that even when Mr Patten raised the issue he did not believe it would be of any avail,' said its chairman, Tsang Yok-sing. Independent legislator Christine Loh Kung-wai thought it was possible people had 'given up'. 'Also I don't think people identify with the British,' she said. But she said there would be much more interest if Britain said it would grant right of abode to British Dependent Territories Citizens. Liberal Party chairman Alan Lee Peng-fei was surprised by the findings. 'I wonder if the people know their birthright is being taken away,' he said. A senior Chinese official yesterday repeated the call that Britain should take the initiative and offer visa-free entry to holders of Special Administrative Region passports. Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Jiang Enzhu said mainland authorities would try their best to protect Hong Kong people's freedom of travel. 'I hope Britain will take the lead and allow SAR passport holders to enter the country visa-free,' he said. But he declined to say if this was a condition for China to co-operate with Britain on promoting the British National (Overseas) passports.