The majority of Canadians feel that it’s time for change in the upcoming election, but the Conservative Party and its leader Stephen Harper rank higher than other parties on the questions of trust to manage government spending and the economy, a new Nanos survey suggests.

According to the most recent survey of 1,000 Canadians, conducted by Nanos Research for CTV News and The Globe and Mail, 69 per cent of respondents would say that it’s time for change in the upcoming federal election.

That number is unchanged from a similar poll in August, but is an increase from July, when a Nanos poll found that 66 per cent of voters wanted change.

Trust and the economy

The Nanos survey also found that Canadians trust the Liberal Party slightly more than other federal parties to promote economic growth (33%), followed by the Conservatives (30%) and the NDP (22%). Three per cent of Canadians said they trust the Green Party the most and 12 per cent were unsure.

Despite those findings, Canadians still appear to have confidence in the Tories’ fiscal plan, with 31 per cent saying they trust the Conservative Party the most when it comes to government spending. That’s followed by the Liberal Party (28%) and the NDP (25%).

Thirty-one per cent also said they trust Harper the most to manage the economy. The second-most trusted was NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair (28%), followed by Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau (26%).

Only five per cent said they trust Green Party Leader Elizabeth May the most to manage the economy and two per cent put their trust in Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe.

Canadians were also asked to rate the Conservative government’s track record on job creation on a scale of 1 to 10. The majority (44%) rated Tories’ track record as “poor” (1-3 on the scale). Another 39 per cent said it was “average” (4-7 on the scale). And 14 per cent said the Conservatives have a “good” track record (8-10 on the scale).

Personal finances, debt and small business

Survey respondents were also asked about their personal finances. Thirty-seven per cent said their finances were worse off since 2011, while 29 per cent said they were better. Thirty-two per cent said there has been no change in their personal finances since 2011.

Just over half of those surveyed (51%) said that encouraging Canada’s small business is more important than encouraging Canada’s manufacturing sector (37%) or encouraging the oil and gas sector (7%) in terms of job creation.

Asked what would create the largest positive impact on the Canadian economy:

  • 45 per cent said building infrastructure
  • 19 per cent said investing in social programs
  • 17 per cent said cutting taxes
  • 16 per cent said paying down national debt

Nearly half of respondents (49%) said they would rather the government increase spending to stimulate the economy, even if it means adding to Canada’s debt. Another 42 per cent would rather see the government focus on balancing the budget to avoid increasing the debt.

Asked what they believe to be the best way for Ottawa to raise revenue for new government spending:

  • 38 per cent said increasing income tax on the top one per cent of earners
  • 25 per cent said increasing corporate taxes
  • 18 per cent said running short-term deficit
  • Seven percent said raising HST
  • 13 per cent were unsure

This poll was based on a land-and-cell line random survey of 1,000 Canadians between Sept. 12 and Sept. 15., as part of an omnibus survey. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Full poll at Nanos research

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