The Liberal Party's popularity has plummeted to a historic low after its defeats in Legislative Council direct elections and ensuing internal splits, a study has found. In a telephone poll conducted by the University of Hong Kong's public opinion programme from Wednesday to Sunday, the pro-business party's support rating was 41 out of 100. The score, given by 832 respondents, was down 6.4 points from the previous survey in mid-August, and was the lowest since the party's establishment in 1993. Its ranking among major political groups in Hong Kong also dropped from seventh to ninth. 'This record low is obviously due to the Liberal Party's failure in its election bid and its internal division after that,' pollster Robert Chung Ting-yiu said. Party chairwoman Miriam Lau Kin-yee acknowledged the election results and post-election incidents had affected the party's image. 'I think the election had a big impact,' Ms Lau said. 'Many things have happened afterwards, too. We have changed from a 10-lawmaker party to a three-lawmaker party and the public may have a different impression of us. We will review and find out what we can do more for citizens.' The party lost in all the three geographical constituencies it contested in September's Legco poll, with then leaders James Tien Pei-chun and Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee unseated. Four of its lawmakers have since quit the party, leaving it with only three members in Legco. The survey also found the support for the Democratic Party, which recently merged with The Frontier, rose by 1.8 points to 49.5. Its ranking went up from sixth to fifth. The Federation of Trade Unions continued to top the list, with the Confederation of Trade Unions passing the Civic Party to rank second. The Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood came fourth. A total of 1,002 people were interviewed. The ratings had a margin of error of plus or minus two points.