Public disapproval towards Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has reached a record high since he took office in 2005, according to a survey conducted by the University of Hong Kong.
In the poll of 1,015 respondents conducted last week, those who said they had no confidence in Tsang reached 51 per cent, a rise of three percentage points from a similar poll conducted earlier this month.
It is the first time the figure has risen above the 50 per cent mark.
Those who said they had confidence in Tsang dropped one percentage point to 33 per cent.
The popularity rating of Tsang stood at 49 points on a 100-point scale.
Dissatisfaction towards the government's performance also rose, by five percentage points to 43 per cent, while those who said they were satisfied dropped three points to 25 per cent.
A detailed breakdown of the poll's data shows Tsang's popularity had slightly recovered after he invited Civic Party leader Audrey Eu Yuet-mee to a televised debate.
Dr Robert Chung Ting-yiu, director of the university's public opinion programme, said the government's handling of the constitutional reform was part of the reason affecting Tsang's popularity.
The polls have a margin error of plus or minus three percentage points.