An exclusive poll commissioned for CTV News appears to contain bad news for Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.

Nanos Research surveyed 1,000 adult Canadians and found the following:

  • Two in three respondents agree it is “time for a change in government.”
  • Harper’s position as the leader most trusted to manage the economy has fallen 10 points since 2009. He is now tied with NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. Liberal Justin Trudeau lags far behind.
  • More than four out of five agree it is important or somewhat important that the leaders attend the TV debates. Harper has so far refused to join the largest broadcasters’ planned debate.

Time for change?

Two out of three (66 per cent) of those polled agree it is “time for change,” while only 24 per say it is “not time for change” and 10 per cent remain unsure.

Those in the Prairies are the least likely to agree that it’s “time for change” (55 per cent) while those in Atlantic provinces appear hungriest for a different government (73 per cent).

When Nanos Research asked a similar, though differently-worded question in the summer of 2009, 59 per cent agreed that “Harper has had his chance and it is time for a change,” while 32 per cent said he “has done a good enough job to deserve re-election.” Ten per cent were unsure.

That question was asked of 1,002 adult Canadians as part of a random telephone survey conducted between July 30 and Aug. 2, 2009. It was considered accurate within plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Most trusted economic manager

Since 2009, the NDP has made an astonishing gain on the Nanos Research question of “whom do you trust to manage the economy?”

In the new poll, 31 per cent choose Harper, 31 per cent choose Mulcair, 18 per cent choose Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, four per cent opt for Green leader Elizabeth May, one per cent pick Gilles Duceppe and 15 per cent are unsure.

That’s compared to a 2009 Nanos poll in which only 10 per cent chose the NDP Leader (then Jack Layton) as the most trusted economic manager, 27 per cent picked the Liberal leader (then Michael Ignatieff) and 41 per cent opted for Harper.

The NDP’s gain on the economic management question appears to come almost equally at the expense of the Conservatives and the Liberals.

However, in the key battleground of Ontario, Stephen Harper still appears to have an edge. In that province, 34 per cent choose him, compared to the 27 per cent who pick Mulcair and the 22 per cent who opt for Trudeau.

Harper is also ahead on that economic management question in the Prairies.

Mulcair, meanwhile, is the most trusted in Quebec, the Atlantic provinces and British Columbia.

Trudeau fares best among Atlantic respondents, where 25 per cent choose him, compared to the 20 per cent who choose Harper and 31 per cent who pick Mulcair.

The poll also suggests the question of “who is most trusted with the economy” is very important to Canadians.

When asked whether “the policies of the Government of Canada have a major, minor or no role in the performance of the Canadian economy,” 78 per cent agree that it has a “major role.”

Importance of TV debates

More than four out of five (84 per cent) of those polled agree it is important (63 per cent) or somewhat important (21 per cent) that the leaders attend the TV debates.

That may put Canadians at odds with Harper, who has turned down the traditional English and French TV debates being planned by a consortium of Canada’s biggest broadcasters on Oct. 7 and 8.

The NDP, Liberals, Greens and Bloc Quebecois have agreed in principle to participate in the broadcast consortium’s TV debates, which managed to reach 10 million people in 2011.

The new poll was conducted between July 18 and July 22 using telephone (landline and cell phone) and online surveys of 1,000 adult Canadians. It too is considered accurate within plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.