Public support for the introduction of universal suffrage in 2007 has dropped by almost a third since the July 1 demonstrations last year, a survey has found. Despite a significant drop from 81.6 per cent in July to 54.7 per cent last week, academics believe most people still want full democracy. The University of Hong Kong poll, which interviewed 1,021 respondents, found support for directly electing the chief executive in 2007 had dropped from 62 per cent in March, before Beijing ruled out universal suffrage, to 54.7 per cent last week. Seventy-three per cent of those interviewed said they did not expect universal suffrage to elect the next chief executive would occur, compared to 61 per cent in March. Support for directly electing all members of the legislature in 2008 rose from 61 per cent to 66 per cent, but was still short of the 74 per cent recorded in January. Ivan Choy Chi-keung, of Chinese University, said: 'While there was a drop, more than half of the public still supports universal suffrage in 2007 and it shows public anger and grievances against the government and Beijing have not subsided.' A China Daily editorial yesterday accused the pro-democracy camp of aiming to attract votes in September's Legislative Council elections by trying to move a motion of regret on Wednesday over Beijing's decision to rule out universal suffrage. Describing it as a 'day of disgrace' where the legislature's image was damaged by the democrats staging an 'obvious political show', the newspaper accused them of being destructive in their fight to attain universal suffrage.