Only four in 10 Canadians say the country is on the right track under Justin Trudeau, the lowest score the Prime Minister has received in an annual tracking survey.
The Mood of Canada poll by Nanos Research and the Institute for Research on Public Policy shows the approval ratings for Mr. Trudeau have slid in each year the Liberals have been in government.
The latest responses, gathered from Dec. 22 to 29, 2019, showed 27 per cent of Canadians surveyed said the performance of the Liberal government was very or somewhat good. Another 27 per cent said it was average and 44 per cent said it was very or somewhat poor.
Mr. Trudeau’s marks were much higher in 2015, when he was fresh off his first election victory. At that point, 60 per cent of Canadians said the Liberals’ performance was very or somewhat good, 13 per cent said it was average and 23 per cent said it was very or somewhat poor.
Nik Nanos, chief data scientist of Nanos Research, said the numbers show the government has run into the realities of governing.
“As soon as any government starts to do things and has to make decisions about the big files, you’re likely to disappoint someone,” Mr. Nanos said.
He said a prime example was the Liberals’ dual goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting the resources sector. On the one hand, the Liberals have introduced policies, such as the federal carbon-pricing regime, that have won the support of environmentalists and the opposition of industry advocates. On the other hand, the Liberals bought the Trans Mountain pipeline when its expansion was in jeopardy, which had the reverse effect on support.
“I think whenever you try to satisfy both sides, usually both sides are dissatisfied,” Mr. Nanos said.
The poll showed that 41 per cent of respondents thought the country was moving in the right direction, while 34 per cent said the country was going in the wrong direction. Twenty-five per cent said they were unsure.
Mr. Nanos said that while those numbers are the lowest Mr. Trudeau has received, they are still in the range of support a party needs to win an election. The Liberals won a majority of seats in the House of Commons in the 2015 election with 39 per cent of the popular vote, and won a minority of seats in 2019 with 33 per cent of the popular vote.
The survey showed that 12 per cent of respondents thought that federal-provincial relations were getting better, 22 per cent thought it was the same and 61 per cent said it was getting worse.
The survey, which has been conducted each year since 2007, put support for Mr. Trudeau in the same ballpark as what Stephen Harper’s Conservative government received in 2013 and 2014.
Nanos conducted the survey of 1,010 Canadian adults by phone and online. The survey has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.