Financial Secretary John Tsang has the best chance of winning the Hong Kong chief executive election next year if he runs as widely expected, a survey shows.
More than 28 percent of respondents said they support Tsang to become Hong Kong’s next leader.
Retired judge Woo Kwok-hing came in second with a support rate of 13.5 percent, followed by former Legislative Council president Jasper Tsang, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Regina Ip, leader of the pro-Beijing New People’s Party.
Only Woo has declared his candidacy.
The survey was commissioned by the Hong Kong Economic Journal and conducted by the Center for Communication and Public Opinion Survey of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK).
It was carried out between Oct. 26 and Nov. 2 by phone, with 1,005 Cantonese-speaking respondents aged 18 and above.
The response rate was 50 percent.
Jasper Tsang told HKEJ earlier this week that John Tsang faces a responsibility issue if he decides to resign from his post and run for the top job.
He said John Tsang may be keeping his cards close to his chest, pending word from Beijing.
The survey also found that 42.3 percent of the respondents, regardless of sex, age, education level and political orientation, consider “mending social divisions” as the most import capability that the new chief executive should have.
It comes ahead of livelihood issues such as housing and poverty (28.6 percent) and economic development (17.6 percent).
Francis Lee, a professor in CUHK’s School of Journalism and Communication, said the results suggest bringing society back to normal has become the public consensus.
He said social divisions have become worryingly serious as evidenced by the ongoing chaos resulting from the oath-taking fiasco in the Legislative Council.
Asked how they felt about the performance of the government under Leung, 45.7 percent of the respondents expressed dissatisfaction compared with only 15.4 percent who said they were content.
In addition, more half said they do not support Leung to seek reelection while only about one in 10 voiced support.
[Chinese version 中文版]
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