A significant and rising proportion of Canadians are uncertain about whether the country remains headed in the right direction, according to our annual Mood of Canada survey. The data show that the proportion of Canadians uncertain about whether the country is on the right track has risen from 9 to 25 percent over the past year. Less than half of those polled — 48 percent — say the country is headed in the right direction, down markedly from 64 percent a year ago (figure 1).

It is the lowest level recorded in the survey since Stephen Harper became prime minister in 2006.

Canadians are divided on the performance of the Harper government, but negative assessments have risen over the past 12 months (figure 2). The number of those who rated the Conservative performance as “very” or “somewhat” poor jumped eight points, to 33 percent. Performance ratings were stronger for the Conservatives in the Prairies and among male voters, and weaker among women and east of the Ottawa River.

“The last election resulted in the Ottawa River being the new political dividing line,” says Nik Nanos of Nanos Research, which conducted the poll. “On many of the issues, this political asymmetry has mirrored the asymmetry in the Canadian economy between the resource-propelled economy in the West and the manufacturing economy in central Canada.”

Nanos Research has conducted the tracking survey in partnership with the Institute for Research on Public Policy for the past six years. The online survey of 1,000 Canadians aged 18 and older was conducted over two days in late November 2012 and was weighted to be demographically representative of Canada. At the time of the survey it was an accurate snapshot of opinion.


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