NPCSC poll results: not much optimism
10 February 2015
The Webb-site Opinon Poll on "NPCSC decision - pocket or not" closed at 6pm on Friday, 6-Feb-2015. We can now analyse the results.
The first question was whether the Legislative Council should approve the proposal of the National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) to introduce universal suffrage in 2017 on the basis that the 2 or 3 candidates are first approved by a majority vote of the 1200-member Nominating Committee. Of 696 respondents, 34.2% say yes, 61.8% say no, and 4.0% were undecided. This is probably why the Government would not put this question to the general public in its own referendum ahead of the LegCo vote, as no opinion poll has yet shown a majority in favour.
The second question was whether the NPCSC proposal is what the World would recognise as free and fair elections. Only 11.4% said yes, 81.5% said no, and 7.1% were undecided. When we cross-tabulate with question 1, we can see that, even among those who thought that LegCo should approve the proposal, only 31.1% thought the World would regard it as free and fair elections while 49.2% did not and 18.1% were undecided.
The third question was, if the proposal is approved, what difference would this make to HK's economic performance? 19.2% said better, 32.4% said worse, 38.3% said no difference, and 10.1% were undecided. Looking at the cross-tab with question 1, the views were highly correlated; of those who thought LegCo should approve the proposal, 52.9% thought this would improve the economy while 2.5% said it would not, while of those who thought LegCo should veto the proposal, only 1.2% thought the proposal was positive for the economy while 50.0% said it would make things worse.
The fourth question was, if the proposal is approved, then do you think Beijing would improve it further for 2022? Only 21.1% thought that there would be further improvements in 2022, while 66.6% said no and 12.3% were undecided. Now look at the cross-tab with question 1. Of those who thought that LegCo should approve the proposal, 55.0% thought that if it was approved then Beijing would improve it further in 2022, 22.7% said Beijing wouldn't, and 21.8% were undecided.
Among those who said LegCo should veto the proposal, only 3.0% thought that if it was approved, then it would lead to further improvements in 2022, while 89.8% thought that if it was approved, then it would be left unchanged in 2022. This suggests that one of the strongest reasons why people think LegCo should veto the proposal is that if they instead approve it then we will be stuck with the same arrangement in 2022.
But what if LegCo rejects the proposal? The fifth question was, if the proposal is rejected, then would Beijing eventually make an offer of reforms for the CE election in 2022, and if so, would it be better than the offer they are currently making? In those circumstances, 13.4% of respondents thought that a better offer would be forthcoming for 2022, 28.2% said it would be the same offer, and 38.6% thought there would be no offer at all. 19.8% were undecided.
In the cross-tab with question 1, of those who want LegCo to vote down the proposal, they are not optimistic about getting a better deal in 2022. Only 20.5% thought this would lead to a better offer for 2022, 23.0% said it would be the same offer, 33.0% said there would be no offer and 22.6% were undecided. This perhaps indicates the difficulty of the task ahead and of future governance under our unique combination of civil liberties with a lack of what the World would recognise as democracy.
The opponents of the NPCSC proposal don't want to get stuck with it, but they don't expect a veto will produce a better offer for 2022. Meanwhile the proponents recognise that the current offer is fake democracy, but they think it is worth taking in the hope of real democracy later.
We will submit this report and poll results to the Panel on Constitutional Affairs of the Legislative Council.
© Webb-site.com, 2015