Public support for Chief Secretary Carrie Lam falls to record low

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2014, 2:29am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 August, 2014, 6:05pm

Public support for Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has hit a record low, a poll shows, despite her long being one of the most popular members of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's team.

In the latest monthly survey by the University of Hong Kong's public opinion programme, Lam's rating dived to its lowest level since she took office as the government's No 2 official in July 2012, hitting 55.9 points out of a score of 100.

The polling team said the fall was due to her role in promoting political reform, but added that despite the slump Lam "is still the most popular secretary".

Her rating was 3 percentage points lower than in a poll conducted last month, and also surpassed her previous low of 58.1 recorded in September 2012.

Lam's net approval rating - the difference between those expressing confidence in her and those not - dropped to a record low of 27, down 13 percentage points from the June poll.

The university conducted its survey between July 7 and 10, soon after the annual July 1 rally and the throwing of glass at Leung by radical lawmaker Wong Yuk-man, and following warnings from the financial sector about the impact of protest movement Occupy Central on the city's economy.

About 1,000 people were questioned over the telephone.

Lam's partner in the reform exercise, Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung, was also hit with record low scores, with his support rating reaching 46.6 and net approval rating at minus one.

"The ratings and the rates are at record lows since they took office, [which is] obviously related to the political reform discussions," the polling team said.

The popularity of their boss Leung also continues to fall. His support rating dropped to 42.7, below an "alert level" of 45 set by the pollsters, while his net approval rating was minus 38.

Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Greg So Kam-leung and Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim also had negative net approval ratings.