Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s fourth policy address on January 13 will be a make-or-break blueprint – his last chance to announce and execute a full year of initiatives. If he seeks re-election, by next January he would be expected to be in full campaign mode for his last policy address as it would be just two months before the vote. Leung dropped a strong hint in July that he intended to seek a second term. So this policy address is his last chance to boost his flagging popularity. While the chief executive will be chosen by a 1,200-strong Election Committee dominated by the business and professional elites, Beijing cannot afford to ignore public opinion. READ MORE: Smaller side seat for Leung Chun-ying sparks debate on Hong Kong Chief Executive’s footing with Xi Jinping According to a tracking survey conducted from December 16 to 21 by the University of Hong Kong’s public opinion programme, Leung’s popularity rating languished at 42.7 out of a possible 100 marks – not a record low but reflective of his lacklustre standing over the past year. Commentators believe the policy document in January next year will be more of a conclusional and forward-looking address than offer new policies. Ray Yep Kin-man, a professor at City University’s department of public policy, said he did not expect Leung to come up with any groundbreaking initiatives in his forthcoming policy blueprint. MULTIMEDIA: Leung Chun-ying’s report card City University political scientist James Sung Lap-kung said observers would be on the lookout for his latest ideas on land, housing and welfare issues. “CY has to think of ways to boost his popularity and social harmony because if his public support continues to be low, it will be difficult for the central government to approve him for another term,” Sung said. “Change” was Leung’s byword during his 2012 campaign. So what change has he successfully brought about? What has he achieved, or failed to achieve? Leung made boosting the supply of flats and land his top priority. In 2014, his administration set a target of supplying 470,000 flats over 10 years, with public housing units accounting for 60 per cent. According to figures released on December 18, however, available land would provide only 19,420 public housing flats in each of the next five years. That would mean the actual annual production would fall short of the original annual target of 28,200 flats. READ MORE: ‘It’d be like winning the lottery’: Getting onto the Hong Kong property ladder a pipe dream for so many of city’s ‘sandwich class’ In his maiden policy address in 2013, Leung announced a committee to study standard working hours. Three years on, it has yet to reach a consensus on whether to legislate on the matter. And the chief executive has yet to deliver on a promise in his 2012 election manifesto to help workers by lowering bosses’ withdrawals from the Mandatory Provident Fund to offset employees’ long-service or severance pay. A consultation paper on December 22 sought public views on scrapping the controversial mechanism. Leung achieved a few social welfare goals, such as securing lawmakers’ approval to fund the low-income working family allowance and the old-age living allowance for people aged 65 and above who passed a means test. Analysts said Leung needed to come up with measures to ease polarisation, which has plagued the city since the 79-day Occupy protests in 2014. Were he to issue a denunciation on the lines of his tirade in last year’s policy address against the University of Hong Kong student magazine Undergrad, he could deepen divisions. Leung accused Undergrad of championing self-determination. READ MORE: Pollution, food waste and heavy traffic: what Hong Kong’s chief executive should focus on in 2016 Yep said one of the easiest ways for Leung to halt the decline in his popularity would be to announce a cabinet reshuffle. “Sacking some incompetent and unpopular ministers, such as Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim ... would help boost people’s confidence in his administration,” he said. The economy looks set to remain weak; third-quarter growth tapered off to 2.3 per cent year on year after expanding 2.8 per cent in the previous quarter – the lowest pace of growth in five quarters. It appears Leung enjoys little leeway in implementing costly policy initiatives in light of the expected economic slowdown and less robust public finances.