Pro-establishment lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yi is trailing incumbent Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying by 1 per cent in a Chief Executive poll conducted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
The poll, commissioned by pro-government newspaper the Hong Kong Economic Journal, surveyed the support for likely Chief Executive candidates. Leung polled at 9.5 per cent, while Ip was in last place at 8.4 per cent. Ip told the paper that polls at such an early stage were not accurate.
Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah led the poll at 28.4 per cent, and was especially popular among those who self identify as localist, with over 60 per cent support. Woo Kwok-hing was in second place at 13.5 per cent. Others included in the poll were former LegCo president Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, and Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor.
So far, only Woo has formally announced his candidacy. Ip expressed interest in Hong Kong’s top job last month, while John Tsang said his decision to run would be “the will of the heavens.”
Mending social rifts
The poll also asked what the most important ability would be for the next chief executive. “The ability to mend social rifts” was shown to be the most important across age groups, education levels, and political orientations.
Francis Lee Lap-fung, professor of Journalism and Communication at CUHK, told the paper that it is rare for there to be such a high degree of consensus among society nowadays. “Regardless of political orientation, it is undeniable that the rift in society has reached a critical point,” he said when referring to the political impasse in LegCo during the recent weeks.
Pollsters interviewed 1,005 Hong Kong citizens aged 18 years and above between October 26 and November 2 through random telephone calls.