The popularity of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has dropped considerably in the past two weeks, and his performance is now in the category of “disastrous”, according to the latest survey by the University of Hong Kong.
The study by the school’s public opinion programme, which interviewed 1,004 Hongkongers from Monday to Thursday last week, found that Leung’s popularity rating has plunged by 2.9 marks to 36.3 in the past two weeks, putting his rating well below the warning line of 45.
The significant drop came after the oath-taking saga that began on October 12. His net popularity rate – the difference between approval rate and disapproval rate – also plunged 9 points, giving Leung a net popularity score of negative 50 percentage points. This was in stark contrast to Secretary for Food and Health Dr Ko Wing-man’s. Ko scored net approval rates of positive 76 percentage points, which put him in the category of “ideal” performer.
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Meanwhile, ratings for other top officials – Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, Justice Secretary Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung – have all fallen, with their scores at 53.2, 62.1 and 45.4, respectively.
Speaking to Young Post yesterday, Hong Kong Polytechnic University political scientist Dr Chung Kim-wah said the interpretation of the Basic Law and the oath-taking saga had not left a good impression of the government.
“The low popularity of top officials, especially Leung and Yuen, shows that most Hongkongers don’t have much confidence in the government. Beijing weighing in on the controversial oath-taking case seemed to show Yuen’s inability to uphold judicial independence and rule of law,” Chung said.
But he added, “The survey won’t affect the election if he stands for it again, as it’s the 1,200-member committee who will pick the leader .”
Edited by Lucy Christie