Canadians Much More Positive About Country Than Last Year

| Filed under: National

Canadians Much More Positive About Country Than Last Year

More think country moving in the right direction, better off now

TORONTO May 13th, 2016 - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1517 Canadian voters just days after the 6 month anniversary of the new Liberal government, fully one half now say the country is moving in “the right direction” (48%), compared to just one quarter who took that position last summer (August 2015 - 26%), and one third in January of that year (January, 2015 - 32%). Just more than a third think the country is moving in the wrong direction now (37%), well down from one half in August and January (50% each). One tenth thinks the country is moving in neither the right nor wrong direction (12%).

Those who think the country is on the right track are most likely to be the oldest (52%), the wealthiest ($100K to $250K - 55%), in Quebec (53%) and BC (52%), among Liberals (77%) and among the best educated (post grad - 57%). Those who think the country is on the wrong track are likely to be mid aged (45 to 54 - 42%), male (41%), in mid income brackets ($40K to $60K - 43%), in Alberta (53%), among Conservatives (80%) and among the least educated (secondary school or less (43%).

More than twice as many think Canada better off now than a year ago

Close to one half of Canadians say the country is better off now than it was a year ago (46%), and this compares to just one fifth who said this in 2015 (January, 2015 - 20%). One third now say the country is worse off (33%) and this is down just slightly from last year (January, 2015 - 36%).

Those who think Canada is better off now are most likely to be the youngest and the oldest (50% each), mid income respondents ($60K to $80K - 50%), in Quebec (60%), among Liberals (71%), Francophones (62%), and among the best educated (58%). Those who think we are worse off are the mid aged (45 to 54 - 37%), males (38%), mid income groups ($40K to $60K - 40%), in Alberta 54%), among Conservatives (80%), among Anglophones (37%) and among those with some college or less (36%).

Majority see Canada becoming more small “l” liberal

More than half the electorate sees the country becoming more small “l” liberal (53%), well more than the proportion seeing us becoming more small “c” conservative (15%). This is in strong contrast to last year, when close to 4-in-10 saw us becoming more conservative (January, 2015 - 38%) and just one quarter saw the coming Liberal surge (25%)

Those seeing the country becoming more liberal are similar to the groups described above who think the country is moving in the right direction and is better off - the youngest, wealthiest, in Quebec, among Liberals, Francophones and the best educated. Those very few who see the country becoming more conservative include the younger mid aged (35 to 44 - 18%), males (18%), the less wealthy ($20K to $40K - 22%), in Ontario (18%) and among Conservatives (22%).

Of interest, those who foresaw the Liberal surge in January, 2015 (25%) were most likely to be 35 to 44 (27%), in Ontario (28%) and Liberal voters (34%), but not so much Quebeckers (20%).

One half rate new government performance positively, one fifth as “excellent”

One half of Canadian voters give the new Liberal government a positive rating (“excellent/good” - 50%), and almost one fifth rate it as “excellent” (19%). Those who rate the new government most positively are older (55 to 64 - 22%), in mid income groups ($60K to $80K - 26%) and the wealthiest ($100K to $250k - 24%), in Atlantic Canada (23%), Liberal voters (35%) and the best educated (post grad - 29%).

“The most notable finding here is the deep political polarization. Belief the country is on the right track, is better off and is becoming more liberal, and a high rating of government, all these transcend most demographic groupings except political affiliation; Conservatives are deeply unhappy, even after six months of the new government. On the other hand, the broad support the government enjoys, and the broad belief in better days is an indication of why this government is still admired by the electorate, long after a traditional honeymoon would be over,” said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.