The popularity rating of Chief Executive Carrie Lam has risen to 58.3 points, 2.6 points higher than the previous poll when she recorded the lowest rating yet since becoming Hong Kong’s leader.

The Public Opinion Programme at the University of Hong Kong interviewed 1,013 residents via random phone survey on December 18 and 19 last year, before the latest controversy over the joint checkpoint arrangement of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link.

When asked by interviewers if they approve or disapprove Lam, the latest approval rating stood at at 49 per cent, and the disapproval rate at 36 per cent. After deducting the disapproval rate from the approval rate, the figures provide a net popularity rating of positive 12 per cent.

Carrie Lam
Carrie Lam. File Photo: GovHK.

The survey also said that the popularity of the government did not change much since its last poll published on December 12, 2017. The satisfaction rate stands at 38 per cent, and dissatisfaction rate at 35 per cent, giving a net satisfaction rate of positive three per cent.

It said that, with regards to economic, livelihood and political conditions, the public remained least satisfied with the current state of politics, with a negative 46 per cent rating.

Respondents were also asked about five specific areas of government policy. The item with the highest approval rating was the handling of its relations with the central government, which stood at 26 per cent net satisfaction. The lowest rated item was developing democracy, with negative 18 per cent satisfaction.

Carrie Lam HKUPOP
Photo: HKUPOP.

“Compared to six months ago, the net satisfaction rates of four among the five indicators have increased significantly. Among them, the net satisfaction rates of maintaining economic prosperity and improving people’s livelihood are at record high since 2008, while those of handling its relation with the Central Government and developing democracy are at record high since 2011,” said Frank Lee, research manager of the Public Opinion Programme.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.