News Release

Support for the Trudeau government’s performance is waning

January 15, 2018 Print

Montreal – Public support for the Trudeau government’s performance continues to soften as the third year of this government’s mandate begins, suggests the 2017 Mood of Canada survey by Nanos Research and the Institute for Research on Public Policy.

Nearly 4 in 10 Canadians (39 percent) described the performance of Justin Trudeau’s government as “very poor” (24 percent) or “somewhat poor” (15 percent). Twenty-four percent rated it “average,” and just over 1 in 3 Canadians (37 percent) described it as “very good” (11 percent) or “somewhat good” (26 percent), and 1 percent were unsure. This represents a 26-point decrease in “very good” and a 12-point increase in “very poor” since 2015.

“What is clear from our research is that the initial exuberance resulting from the Liberal win is on the wane. In a sense, the Trudeau government’s support is suffering from the transition from the promise of governing to the practice of governing.  The longer the Liberals govern, the more likely for Canadians to dwell on a policy or a decision which they do not like,” said Nik Nanos, chairman of the Nanos Research Group.

In terms of where the country is headed, the number of Canadians who thought the country is moving in the right direction is holding steady from 2016 – down marginally to 50 percent in 2017 from 54 percent in 2016. It had reached a high of 63 percent shortly after the Liberals won power in October 2015.

Canadians had mixed views on the relationship between the federal government and the provincial governments, with just over 1 in 3 who said it has improved (10 percent) or somewhat improved (25 percent), and just under 1 in 3 who said it has somewhat not improved (16 percent) or not improved (16 percent). Just over 1 in 4 Canadians said it is neutral (26 percent) and 8 percent of Canadians were unsure. This represents a 9-point decrease in “improved” since 2016.

A majority of Canadians thought Canada’s reputation around the world over the past year had improved (29 percent) or somewhat improved (25 percent), which is below the 2016 10-year high (it was 37 percent improved, 26 percent somewhat improved). In 2017, 19 percent rated it neutral, while just over 1 in 4 believed it has not improved (13 percent) or somewhat not improved (13 percent). Three percent are unsure.

Nik Nanos’ column on the survey is available in Policy Options magazine, along with the complete report.

Nanos Research and the IRPP have been conducting the Mood of Canada survey since 2007. The latest wave is based on a Nanos RDD dual-frame (land and cell lines) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,000 Canadians, conducted between December 27 and December 29, 2017. Participants were randomly recruited by telephone using live agents and asked to complete a survey online. The margin of error for a random survey of 1,000 Canadians is ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The Institute for Research on Public Policy is an independent, national, bilingual, not-for-profit organization based in Montreal. To receive updates from the IRPP, please subscribe to our e-mail list.

Media contact:    Nik Nanos    (613) 234-4666 ext. 237

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