Hong Kong's chief executive enjoys a "solid foundation of support" despite "not so high" popularity, according to Executive Council convenor Lam Woon-kwong.
In the latest popularity poll earlier this month, Leung Chun-ying's rating rose to 53 points out of 100, after the government rolled out a buyer's stamp duty on non-locals to cool the property market.
The increase of 3.9 points from two weeks ago nearly puts him back at the 53.8 points he recorded in mid-July soon after taking office.
Lam also gave credit to the embattled chief executive for his efforts to deliver on his election pledges and address issues that have been avoided by previous governments - such as plans to draw a poverty line and study standard working hours.
"Setting a poverty line was … taboo in the previous government, but he decided to do it … It shows his determination," he said.
"He is serious in honouring his election pledges … His popularity is not so high, but - as you may notice - he has a rather solid foundation [of support]," Lam added. "The public hold expectations of him and hope that he can have room to do something."
But Lam conceded the new government had faced "more challenges than it expected".
"It is impossible to honour all his election pledges in five years … But people would expect him to at least address the tasks that are considered crucial," he said.
Lam added: "But if the opposition camp wrongly thinks they can drag him down by labelling him 'red CY Leung', this would be a wrong judgment."