Nearly half of Canadians dislike Stephen Harper: Poll

Prime Minister Stephen Harper. QMI Agency File

Prime Minister Stephen Harper. QMI Agency File

Kristy Kirkup, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 9:38 PM ET

OTTAWA -- Nearly half of Canadians continue to object to the federal Tories and disapprove of their boss, according to national poll numbers released by an Ottawa-based research firm.

A large amount participants in a recent poll by Abacus Data - 49% - disapproved of the Harper government, while 34% approved.

The same proportion of Canadians surveyed this month - 49% - had an unfavourable view of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, while 35% had a favourable impression.

"The approval rating of the government overall has been this way basically since January," Abacus CEO David Coletto said. "It is not good news that this is happening. The only silver lining from a political point of view is that the opposition parties are still disjointed ... there is this large group of people that oppose the government but yet they're not coalescing around one alternative."

Abacus interviewed 1,008 Canadians from June 20 to 23 and discovered the Tories and NDP are tied neck and neck at 35% support, while the Liberals trail at 20%.

In its survey, the research firm found NDP boss Thomas Mulcair is the only federal leader to have an overall favourable impression, with a 31% approval rating among those surveyed.

Although 45% of participants were neutral or did not know how they felt about Mulcair, 24% disapproved of the Montreal MP now at the helm of the New Democrats.

Mulcair became the party's chief in March.

"Outside Quebec, he still has work to do, obviously, to introduce himself to Canadians," Coletto said. "The good point for him is his negative numbers remain low so he has an opportunity to define himself."

The Abacus poll, conducted for QMI Agency, has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Kristy.Kirkup@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @kkirkup


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