The impact of the Barry Cheung scandal has taken a widely expected toll on his chief backer - the chief executive.
That fallout emerged in a survey by the University of Hong Kong's Public Opinion Programme, which found the popularity of Leung Chun-ying has slumped to 46.7 points, compared with 49 points early this month.
But the poll, which began at the beginning of last week, ended on Thursday, a day before Cheung resigned from all his public posts as the police launched an investigation into the Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange that he chaired.
The poll results were released as Leung denied Beijing has activated its "Plan B" to replace him.
Leung made the remarks after political expert Willy Lam Wo-lap quoted sources as saying that Beijing's working group on Hong Kong and Macau affairs - led by National People's Congress chairman Zhang Dejiang - had activated the plan to look for a capable replacement for Leung.
The 46.7 rating was Leung's third-worst showing, with the 46 points he rated in September his worst following stiff opposition to the national education crisis.
Of the 1,023 respondents, 30 percent supported Leung while 54 percent were opposed.
Support for the government also shrank three percentage points to 26 percent. Disapproval of the government increased eight percentage points to 44 percent.
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology political analyst Sing Ming believes Leung's popularity is directly related to the imbroglio surrounding Cheung, who served as his election campaign manager.
"The Cheung saga has dealt Leung's governance a heavy blow as he is one of Leung's core supporters and advisers," Sing said.
Civic Party lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki said Leung's popularity was also hit by his move to cancel the Executive Council's recent meeting, apparently for a lack of an agenda to discuss.
The public felt the cancellation was unacceptable given numerous social policies related to residents' livelihood.