Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s popularity rating has plunged to a new record low of 22.3 points out of 100, according to the latest public survey.
The rating is the lowest among any post-colonial chief executive. It represented a further 2.6 point drop from two weeks ago, according to the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute – the crowdfunded successor to the University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Programme.
The institute interviewed 1,004 people between September 30 and October 3 by landline and mobile phone.
Asked if people would support Lam as the chief executive if they had the right to vote, only 15 per cent said they would, representing a drop of three per cent from the last survey and a record low. 80 per cent said they would not support her, representing an increase of six per cent – also a new record.
Since June, Hong Kong has seen large-scale protests against a bill that would have enabled extraditions to China. In 18 weeks, they have evolved into sometimes violent displays of dissent over Beijing’s encroachment, democracy and alleged police brutality.
The survey also asked interviewees to rate top officials. Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng received the lowest rating with 14.7 points, representing a drop of three points since the last survey conducted in September.
Asked if people supported her as the secretary for justice, seven per cent said they do, but 75 per cent said they did not.
Secretary for Security John Lee received the lowest rating after Cheng. 14 per cent of the interviewees said they supported Lee, but 67 per cent said they did not.
He was followed by Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung. 11 per cent of the interviewees said they supported Yeung, but 60 per cent said they did not.
According to the institute’s categorisation, the performance of Yeung was “depressing,” and the performances of Cheng, Lee and Carrie Lam were “disastrous.”
Robert Chung, director of the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute, said the survey was conducted before the government enacted the anti-mask law using the Emergency Regulations Ordinance. He said the results may not reflect the current public opinion and ratings after the law was enacted.
Chung said he felt sad about the current ratings, as the government and protesters have ignored the low ratings and failed to handle the situation well.
“I see that some measures [from the government] were pouring fuel on the fire, deepening the crisis,” Chung said.
“At this point, our ratings are meaningless. We publish these figures to let people know that the situation is dire. If there is something that could be done to stop the fall in ratings, then we could go towards a better direction,” he added.
He said a silver lining was that many have contacted the institute to suggest solutions to the current situation.
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