Public confidence in Leung Chun-ying continues to slide, with his disapproval rating at an all-time high and his popularity hovering barely above its lowest point.
The latest poll conducted by the University of Hong Kong's public opinion programme shows the chief executive has failed to arrest the decline in his popularity amid allegations of dishonesty from a former supporter. Programme director Robert Chung Ting-yiu said there was room for it to fall further.
Leung's record disapproval rate, 52.7 per cent, is above 50 per cent for the fifth time since he assumed office in July last year.
His popularity rating, at 46.3 points, fell 1.8 points from the previous poll and is now barely 0.3 points above the lowest level registered in September.
More than 1,000 people were interviewed between February 1 and February 6 for the poll that reflects the impact of allegations by Leung's former staunch ally, Lew Mon-hung, in an interview with iSun Affairs magazine, but not Leung's threat to sue over an article on the issue by Hong Kong Economic Journal columnist Joseph Lian Yi-zheng. "That means there is still downward pressure on the chief executive's popularity," Chung said.
Meanwhile, Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung saw his rating fall 2.5 points to a record low at 47.8. Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor was the most popular of the three top officials, with 60.6 points, followed by Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah, on 57.8.
Health minister Dr Ko Wing-man remained the most popular senior official in Leung's administration with a support rating of 75 per cent. But the row over a shortage of baby milk formula pushed his rating down five percentage points. Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po was still the most unpopular, with a support rating of 19 per cent. Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim was just above him for popularity, at 24 per cent.