Leung's popularity falls to record low, poll finds

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 February, 2013, 5:25pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 February, 2013, 5:53pm

Plagued by accusations made by a former ally, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s popularity has plunged to a record low, according to a poll by the University of Hong Kong released on Thursday.

Fifty-three per cent of respondents disapproved of Leung as chief executive in the survey, which was conducted early this month. The disapproval rating was three percentage points larger than in the previous survey.

Only 31 per cent of respondents supported Leung as the city’s leader, down by three percentage points from the previous poll.

Researchers at the university’s public opinion programme surveyed 1,005 people, over February 1-6, through random telephone calls.

Dr Robert Chung Ting-yiu, the head of the polling programme, said the latest drop reflected the effect of accusations made by Leung’s once-staunch supporter Lew Mon-hung.

Lew told Sun Affairs magazine this month the chief executive had lied about his handling of illegal structures at his home on The Peak. He also claimed Leung had reneged on a promise to appoint Lew to the Executive Council.

The poll was conducted after Leung became embroiled in a new controversy when it emerged that he had demanded a retraction of an article in the Hong Kong Economic Journal that he claimed was defamatory.

“[The ratings] have not yet included the effect of Leung’s threat to sue HKEJ for libel due to Lian Yi-zheng’s article, meaning there is still downward pressure on the chief executive’s popularity,” Chung said.