Polls: Harper and Conservatives losing popularity, economy far more important than fighting terrorists

IT’S going to be a tough battle for both the Conservatives and the Liberals with many ups and downs in the coming weeks and months. After a series of weeks of positive momentum on the Nanos Party Power Index, the Conservatives have registered a decline and still trail the Liberals.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s preferred Prime Minister numbers have declined and his party’s declines cut across all demographic groups. Nanos notes that this will have to be monitored to see if a new trend emerges or if this is a short term phenomenon.

In the latest Nanos tracking, 31 per cent of Canadians preferred Harper as Prime Minister, 31 per cent preferred Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau, followed by NDP Leader Tom Mulcair at 17 percent.

Asked a series of independent questions as to whether they would consider or not consider voting for each of the federal parties, 53 per cent of Canadians would consider voting Liberal while 43 per cent would consider voting Conservative, 43 per cent would consider voting NDP and 26 per cent would consider voting for the Greens.


THE best plan for Canadian economy trumps fighting terrorists by more than 20 to 1 as an important election issue. Even with the Globe / Nanos Survey being conducted at the height of the focus on national debate related to Bill C-51 and the war on terror, Canadians are overwhelmingly looking to judge a party in the next election on its plan for the Canadian economy.

Although more infrastructure is seen as having the most positive impact on the economy – Canadians are much more likely to want to see the federal government spend more money on health care.

The economy is clearly more important to Canadians than the government’s plan to fight terrorists when it comes to the next election but Canadians are generally feeling less safe than they were five years ago.

* Election issue importance – Canadians clearly believe that the best plan for the Canadian economy (90%) will be more important than the best plan to fight terrorists (4%) for who wins the next election.

* Perceptions of safety – When it comes to possible terrorist threats, Canadians are more likely to feel less safe than five years ago (17% less safe and 37% somewhat less safe).

* Spending priorities for surplus – If the Government of Canada has a surplus, the number one priority is to invest in infrastructure (32%) followed by paying down the debt (30%). Investing in social programs (23%) receives the next most support followed by reducing taxes (14%).

* Positive impacts on the economy – 46% of Canadians think building infrastructure would have the largest positive impact on the Canadian economy. Much fewer mention paying down the debt (18%), cutting taxes (17%) and investing in social programs (17%).

* Preferences for government spending – If given the choice, Canadians would rather spend more money on health care (54%) than infrastructure (38%).