More Canadians now believe that Canada is heading in the wrong direction than those who think it’s on the right track. 

For the first time since former prime minister Stephen Harper’s last year in government, the number of people with a negative outlook on the trajectory of Canada outnumber those with a positive outlook. 

According to Nanos’ latest annual tracking survey, when asked to say whether “Canada as a country is moving in the right direction or the wrong direction” 43% of respondents said they believe Canada was headed in the “wrong direction”. Meanwhile, only 40% said they believed it was heading in the “right direction.”

When broken down even further, the greatest gap between outlooks existed with middle-aged Canadians, with 48% leaning towards a pessimistic outlook and only 39% being optimistic. 

Quebecers were the most positive when it came to the country’s trajectory with 46% having a positive impression and 34% thinking the country was deteriorating. 

On the Liberal government specifically, Canadians were also more likely to rate its performance as poor or very poor instead of good or somewhat good. 

41% of those polled said that the government was performing very poorly or somewhat poorly. On the other hand, 33% gave the Liberals a very good or somewhat good rating.

The number of Canadians who believe the country’s reputation hasn’t been improving has also grown considerably over the past few years. 

In 2022, 46% of Canadians reported that they believed the country’s international reputation has not improved or has somewhat not improved. In comparison, two years ago that number sat at 26%. 

“Looking at the numbers, it’s clear the Trudeau Liberals are in similar territory to the Harper Conservatives before their defeat,” wrote pollster Nik Nanos. 

“All the underlying indicators in the mood of Canadians point to Liberal vulnerability and, in a number of instances, vulnerability reminiscent of the Harper government in the close of its mandate.”

The latest voting intention polls show the Conservatives have a slight lead over the Liberals. A year-end poll conducted by Leger found that 33% of Canadians intended on voting for a Conservative candidate whereas 30% said the same of the Liberals.