Leung Chun-ying

Support for Leung Chun-ying and ministers rebounds

Housing policy seen as improving ratings of C. Y. and several of his senior ministers

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 November, 2012, 4:21am

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's popularity has rebounded to over 50 points for the first time in three months, a University of Hong Kong opinion poll shows. Ratings of key ministers also rose.

Dr Robert Chung Ting-yiu, director of the university's public opinion programme, which carried out the poll, said: "The new housing policies seem to have had a positive impact on the popularity of the officials involved."

Leung's popularity rose to 53 points last month - up 3.9 points and nearly back to the 53.8 he recorded in mid-July soon after taking office. And asked if they would give Leung a vote of confidence, 42 per cent of respondents said "yes" - up 5 points from the previous poll. But 43 per cent said "no".

The university interviewed 1,000 people this month.

The popularity of five other senior officials also increased, following the administration's announcement of a surprise extra property tax.

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah had a net approval rating of 47 percentage points, up seven percentage points, as did Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Chan Ka-keung, also a rise of seven points; Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung Bing-leung had a net approval rating of 37 per cent, up 3 percentage points. Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's net approval rating was 50 percentage points, up four points.

Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po was the least popular minister, with his net approval rate minus 27 percentage points, but that was an 8 percentage point improvement. Education minister Eddie Ng Hak-kim was the second most unpopular, with a net approval rate of minus 22 percentage points, also an 8 percentage point improvement.

The margin for error of the approval ratings was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Political scientist Dixon Sing Ming, from the University of Science and Technology, was sceptical about the rebound in Leung's popularity.

"It is true that in terms of housing, Leung's cabinet seems to be rolling out initiatives swiftly. This will win the hearts of many. But after the Court of Final Appeal's ruling [yesterday concerning lawmaker Albert Ho Chun-yan's election petition], there will be huge political pressure for Leung to come clean on unauthorised structures at his home.

The court yesterday put a stop to Ho's legal challenge against Leung's victory in the March 25 chief executive election.