POLITICS
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Occupy Central

Overwhelming majority of Hongkongers want Occupy protests to end: survey

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 November, 2014, 9:50pm
UPDATED : Monday, 03 October, 2016, 5:52pm

Nearly 83 per cent of Hongkongers want the Occupy Central protests to stop, while more than two-thirds believe the government should clear the protest sites, a University of Hong Kong survey has found.

Almost 55 per cent of 513 respondents interviewed by the university's public opinion programme on Monday and Tuesday said they opposed the civil disobedience movement, while 28 per cent supported it.

And 82.9 per cent said the protests, now in their eighth week, should end, while 13 per cent said they should continue. Another 4.1 per cent replied "don't know/hard to say".

The survey findings were released a day after Dr Chan Kin-man, a co-founder of Occupy Central, urged protesters to consider ending their road blockades and instead refocus on winning the long-term support of the public.

More than 68 per cent of the respondents said the Hong Kong government should clear the protest sites, while 25.1 per cent said it should maintain the "status quo". Another 6.8 per cent said "don't know/hard to say".

The survey had a response rate of 65.9 per cent, a sampling error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points and a confidence level of 95 per cent.

More than 11 per cent of the respondents said they had taken part in the protests, compared to 88.4 per cent who said they had not done so.

According to another survey by Chinese University's Centre for Communication and Public Opinion Survey from November 5 to 11, more than 67 per cent of 1,030 respondents believed the protesters should go home, while 14 per cent believed the opposite.

Dr Ma Ngok, a political scientist at Chinese University, said as the Occupy protests had dragged on for such a long time, some people who were sympathetic to its aims now disagreed with the continuation of the sit-ins without clear goals.

"Many occupiers joined in in the hope of protecting students. Student leaders find it difficult to withdraw from protest zones because they believe they owe a moral responsibility to those occupiers," he said. "The students think they shouldn't abandon the occupiers lightly."