23 February 2019
The central government's universal suffrage proposal for Hong Kong is acceptable to 52 out of every 100 people. Photo: HKEJ
The central government's universal suffrage proposal for Hong Kong is acceptable to 52 out of every 100 people. Photo: HKEJ

Support falls for Beijing’s universal suffrage plan, poll finds

Fifty-two out of every 100 people would accept Beijing’s universal suffrage proposal for Hong Kong, a survey has found. That is down by about five percentage points compared with a similar poll four months ago.

With pan-democrats ruled out of the chief executive election, 37 percent of the respondents said they would retain the status quo — with no universal suffrage in 2017 — up by nine percentage points compared with the poll in May, Ming Pao Daily News reported Wednesday.

The pan-democrats said the results are encouraging as the survey shows the public have come to realize the National People’s Congress’ political reform framework is “rotten”.

But Hong Kong people are sensible and pragmatic as less than half of the people surveyed are against the reform proposal, said Lau Siu-kai, vice chairman of the National Research Council Hong Kong and Macau.

The poll also shows 27 percent of the people support the Occupy Central movement, up by three percentage points from the previous survey, while those who are against it stands at 54 percent, down by two percentage points.

Occupy Central founder Chan Kin-man said support for the civil disobedience campaign has remained steady with no substantial fluctuation. Chan said public opinions could be polarized.

The survey shows a reversal of an upward trend over the past three polls in support for the central government’s proposed arrangements on nominating a chief executive candidate. It is down to 44 percent from 51 percent in May.

On the other hand, 28 percent of the respondents are against such arrangements, up from 36 percent.

Legislator Lee Cheuk-yan of the Labour Party and fellow lawmaker Emily Lau of the Democratic Party said they are confident the number of people opposed to the NPC proposal will keep growing.

Alan Leong of the Civic Party said the Beijing plan will ultimately be tested and the reality is that the general public have come to realize the negative impact of accepting such a proposal.

Legislator Wong Kwok-kin, representing the pro-establishment Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, said the poll results are emotional responses. The pan-democrats have yet to secure 40 percent support for rejecting the NPC proposal, he said.

The random survey of 1,004 Hong Kong residents was conducted between September 1 and 6.

Thirty-one percent of the respondents believe the chance for implementing universal suffrage in 2017 is high while 40 percent think the chance is slim.

The survey also shows that the younger generation, professionals and those who possess tertiary education qualifications tend to be against the NPC proposal, while 63 percent of housewives and 67 percent of blue-collar workers are receptive.

Sixty-two percent of those aged 50 or above are against Occupy Central, while 45 percent of those aged between 18 and 29 support the campaign.

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