Decision by Antony Leung and Regina Ip to step down takes the heat off Tung - and buys him time to improve Nearly three-quarters of people surveyed in Hong Kong said they agreed with the resignation of financial chief Antony Leung Kam-chung last week. About two-thirds of the 909 respondents also said they supported the decision by Secretary for Security Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee to step down. Political analysts said the results showed that Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's image had benefited from the two resignations, which would give him some time to improve his governance. The study, by the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, at Chinese University, found the overall performance ratings for Mr Tung had dropped to 38.9 out of 100 points - the lowest since the handover. A total of 73 per cent of respondents agreed with Mr Leung's resignation, while 66.3 per cent said Mrs Ip was right to step down. Fifty-seven per cent said Mr Leung's departure had had a positive impact on the Tung administration, while 21.8 per cent said it would have a negative impact. Nearly 55 per cent said Mrs Ip's resignation had had a positive impact on the government. The survey was carried out between last Tuesday and Thursday. Timothy Wong Ka-ying, a researcher at the institute, said the two resignations had helped to ease public grievances against the government. He said calls for the two senior officials to step down had been one of the major appeals of those who joined the July 1 mass protest against the government and the proposed national security legislation, and two subsequent rallies. 'Some people may feel their voices have been heard following the departure of Leung and Ip. It can buy some much-needed time for the Tung administration to improve its governance,' he said. Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, a professor of political science at City University, said the two officials had become a liability for the government and their resignations could help to alleviate public dissatisfaction with the Tung administration. 'But the positive impact is limited,' he said. 'It would be much better if Mr Leung and Mrs Ip had tendered their resignations earlier.' Mr Tung's overall performance rating dropped to 38.9 points compared with 43.5 points last month. Dr Wong said 69.2 per cent of respondents had given less than 50 marks for Mr Tung's performance, while the rest gave him a 'pass' mark or higher. 'The popularity of the Tung administration is at a very dangerous level, with nearly 70 per cent of respondents saying it failed to make the grade.' He said in comparison, between 38 per cent and 45 per cent of people in Taiwan were satisfied with the performance of the island's president, Chen Shui-bian, in latest polls. About 60 per cent of respondents said they were dissatisfied with the performance of the Hong Kong government, a 6.6 percentage point increase over last month. Only 9.2 per cent said they were satisfied with the administration's performance, while 29.8 per cent considered its performance 'average'.