Survey suggests Canadians have the blues over Stephen Harper

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

Yet another poll is out this week indicating that the public is losing confidence in the Harper government.

On Thursday, Nanos Research and the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRRP) released the results of their sixth annual Mood of Canada survey, an annual Q&A about the 'direction' of the country.

This year's verdict is that we're feeling blue.

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According to the survey results, posted on the Nanos website, 48 per cent of Canadians feel the country is on "the right track" compared to 64 per cent this time last year.

More importantly, the survey report notes that confidence in the Tories is dropping.

"Canadians are divided on the performance of the Harper government but negative assessments have risen over the past 12 months," Nanos president, Nik Nanos, wrote.

"The number of those who rated the Conservative Government’s performance as “very” or “somewhat” poor jumped eight points, to 33 percent."

This is just the latest in a string of surveys showing that support for the Tories is slipping.

[ Related: Canadians are confident about the economy, less so about Harper ]

In fact, Éric Grenier — Canada's version of Nate Silver — recently took the average of all the polls done in 2011 and compared them to all the polls done in 2012 and found that the Tories fell 3.6 points to 33.9 per cent.

But should the Tories be worried?

Political consultant Gerry Nicholls says 'no.'

"You should refrain from reading too much into polls when we are still more than two years away from an election," he told Yahoo! Canada News in an email exchange.

"Voters are not really focused on the issues.

"That’s not to say the Tories should not be concerned, but they have lots of time to re-frame the debate."

Nicholls also referenced a recent Ipsos Reid poll,which indicated that the Tories were at least "maintaining their base."  He says, at this point, that's the key.

In other words, if there is a dip in the polls, you can chalk it up to some mid-term blues.

And you know what they say: 'there ain't no cure for the mid-term blues.'