Date
18 October 2018
Chief Executive Carrie Lam (middle) saw her net popularity turn negative for the first time, while Financial Secretary Paul Chan (R) had a negative score of as much as 44 percentage points, according to a latest poll. Photo: HKEJ
Chief Executive Carrie Lam (middle) saw her net popularity turn negative for the first time, while Financial Secretary Paul Chan (R) had a negative score of as much as 44 percentage points, according to a latest poll. Photo: HKEJ

Carrie Lam’s net popularity in negative territory for first time

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has seen her net popularity turn negative for the first time since she took office on July 1 last year, a survey showed.

According to a poll conducted between April 2 and 4 by the University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Program (HKUPOP), Lam’s popularity rating fell 1.2 points to 55.6, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

However, the survey, based on random phone interviews with 1,003 respondents, showed the chief executive’s approval rate was 42 percent while her disapproval rate was 44 percent, giving her a net popularity of negative 2 percentage points.

It marks the first time Lam registered negative net popularity in HKUPOP’s polls since she became Hong Kong’s leader.

The survey found that Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung was the only one of the three secretaries of departments to receive a positive net popularity rating.

Cheung, whose support rating was 51, saw an approval rate of 28 percent and a disapproval rate of 24 percent, giving him net popularity of positive 4 percentage points.

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po’s support rating stood at only 36.2. His approval rating and disapproval rating were at 17 and 61 percent, respectively, translating to net popularity of a negative 44 percentage points, significantly down 20 points from the last poll.

That put him in the category of “depressing performer” based on HKUPOP’s standards.

It is believed that the drastic fall in Chan’s net popularity might have something to do with his decision not to give a universal cash handout to citizens despite a huge budget surplus. 

Of the respondents, 61 percent said they do not want Chan to continue in office, compared to 17 percent who said they do.

As for Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah, her support rating was 37.9, with an approval rate of 14 percent and a disapproval rating of 45 percent, giving a net popularity of negative 31 points.

Of the 13 directors of bureaus, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee was found to be the most popular top official with a net approval rating of positive 47 percentage points, up 9 points from a previous survey.

The health secretary was the only one among her peers to get qualified as “successful performer”.

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