Donald Tsang

Tsang's approval rating at record low

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 June, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 June, 2008, 12:00am

The approval rating for Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen is at a record low, a university poll shows.

Results from the University of Hong Kong poll show an approval rating of 51 per cent, the worst since Mr Tsang became chief executive in June 2005. This is a 6 percentage point drop from a poll earlier this month, which itself was a 6 percentage point drop from a poll conducted at the end of May. Both surveys followed the controversy over the government's political appointees.

The latest survey, in which 1,003 people were interviewed, was carried out between June 18 and 20.

The rating of Mr Tsang's performance has also reached a record low, at 57.9 marks out of 100, a drop of 2.9 marks since the last survey earlier this month, and an accumulative 8.1-mark drop since the end of May.

University pollster Robert Chung Ting-yiu said: 'The controversies surrounding the recent appointment of undersecretaries and political assistants, and the gradual emergence of inflation and livelihood problems may all have affected the popularity of the chief executive and the government.'

Overall satisfaction with the government has dropped 14 percentage points since the end of May to 36 per cent and dissatisfaction has risen by 11 points to 22 per cent, the highest since May 2005.

Economic prosperity and people's livelihoods were areas about which respondents were most dissatisfied, the poll showed.

Mr Tsang yesterday visited a school in Ho Man Tin, where he chatted to parents about their worries over the forthcoming education reforms and inflation. He later told the media that he often spent time visiting districts to feel the pulse of the community.

City University analyst James Sung Lap-kung said Mr Tsang's re-emergence into the public eye was clearly aimed at reviving his image: 'The political-appointments fiasco was the most lethal blow ... You can't rule out that [his popularity] will keep falling.'

A government spokesman said Mr Tsang had taken note of the poll.

The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.