Central Policy Unit chief believes people are disappointed with opposition camp Hong Kong has reached a new era with an emerging consensus for pragmatism and less confrontation after seven years of trial and error, says the head of a government think-tank. Lau Siu-kai, in a positive review of governance, said public endorsement for this month's policy address showed the government's road map had become the mainstream view in society. The Central Policy Unit chief said people were disappointed with the opposition camp. Professor Lau believed the pursuit of social harmony and waning concern over a constitutional review would give the government's rivals less room to manoeuvre. In an interview with the South China Morning Post, Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's main policy adviser said that public support for Mr Tung's eighth policy address had been the highest ever. 'What critics have been saying are just things like we lack new ideas or we are unrepentant. So far, I have not heard anything with substance,' he said, dismissing claims of a looming governance crisis. 'Our assessment is that the situation is getting better and better.' Professor Lau said few would dispute the government's broad strategies these days, describing this as an 'embryonic' consensus. Economically, there were no longer qualms about integration with the mainland while strengthening the city's services and other industries, he said. On the political front, there was a rise in the conservative force of the middle class in calling for pragmatism, rationality and less confrontation with Beijing. 'In the past, people were sceptical about the road we walked. But now the pendulum is swinging back. It's a new beginning. What the government advocates is increasingly the mainstream view.' But a constitutional review remained an issue without consensus, he admitted. 'Ever since Beijing made the [Basic Law] interpretation, the issue has effectively been shelved. Its salience as a public issue is declining. It is difficult to use it to stir mass confrontation.' Professor Lau said the opposition should reflect on ways to regain public confidence. 'The opposition camp is getting more and more disappointing. What they did over the past year just made people disillusioned and disenchanted. Indeed, what they ... do now is to pick on our individual mistakes.' However, the former academic admitted all would not be plain sailing. He expected to see friction as the government continued to balance different social interests. 'Our governance is moving from elite-based to one with broader public support. But, of course, things won't be accomplished overnight, perhaps not until a few years after I have left the government.' He said Mr Tung's policy address, in which he admitted a number of government failings, showed he was confident of doing better.