Leung Chun-ying's popularity rating hits lowest point since election
Unfulfilled promises and scandals have taken their toll in thechief executive's first two months in office, survey finds
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's popularity rating has plunged to another record low, the latest poll by the University of Hong Kong's public opinion programme has found.
Leung's approval rating is lowest among people below the age of 30, the survey found. Observers say the poor results for Leung two months into his term of office could make it hard for him to push through key reforms and regain public confidence.
"The public expects to see Leung Chun-ying solve acute social problems, such as high property prices, but these promises have not been answered," said Ivan Choy Chi-keung, a political scientist at Chinese University. But he warned a downfall in popularity after gaining office should be expected. "The public support for Leung was not sustainable at the beginning [of his term], it is natural for it to wear out now."
Last week's poll found just 36 per cent of voters expressed confidence in the chief executive, down 3 percentage points from earlier this month. And the proportion of people expressing no confidence in Leung was up 1 percentage point to 48 per cent.
Leung's support rating - measured on a scale of 0 to 100 - fell to 49 points from 51.6 points in the previous poll. The survey was carried out from August 14 to 18 and 1,000 people were interviewed. The margin of error was four per cent.
The results come as Leung faces pressure to transfer his interest in property consultancy DTZ Holdings to a trust, as he had promised to do before his election. He was also rocked by revelations that the wife of his new development chief was linked to a company that owned controversial subdivided flats, while the debate over the introduction of national education in Hong Kong schools continues to divide.
Researchers from the public opinion programme said in-depth analysis showed respondents aged 18 to 29 were most likely to disapprove of Leung.
Choy said this group was most likely to be suffering from the overheated property market and was not eligible for "sweeteners" offered by Leung.
The poll also found the public sentiment index, which measures the electorate's opinion of government performance and their feelings on society, had also significantly worsened in the weeks since the previous survey, from 86 points to 79.7 points.