One-in-Four Canadians Say Harper is Worst Prime Minister Since 1968

While Pierre Trudeau is still regarded as the best Prime Minister of Canada since 1968, animosity towards the current head of the federal government has grown markedly since last year, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,510 Canadian adults, 36 per cent of respondents think Trudeau has been the best Canadian Prime Minister since 1968. Stephen Harper is second on the list with 16 per cent—down three points since 2011—followed by Jean Chrétien with 11 per cent, and Brian Mulroney with five per cent.

Trudeau is well regarded by respondents in Atlantic Canada (46%), Ontario (42%) and British Columba (38%), while Harper is the most popular choice for Albertans (32%).

Respondents who voted for the Liberal Party (57%) or the New Democratic Party (NDP) (48%) in the last federal election select Trudeau as their first choice, while those who backed the Conservatives (42%) pick Harper.

In every Angus Reid Public Opinion poll conducted on this topic since 2007, Trudeau has been supported by at least a third of Canadians in the Best Prime Minister question. Mulroney has dropped nine percentage points in five years.

The biggest change observed since 2011 is in the second question. One-in-four Canadians (26%, +7) think Harper has been Canada’s Worst Prime Minister since 1968. Mulroney is a distant second with 17 per cent, followed by Trudeau (11%) and Chrétien (9%).

Harper is judged to be the worst recent head of government by more than a third of Atlantic Canadians (40%) and Quebecers (36%), as well as 26 per cent of British Columbians. Trudeau fares poorly in Alberta (21%), and Mulroney has a negative showing in Atlantic Canada, British Columbia and Ontario.

While one-in-four respondents who voted for the Conservative Party in last year’s federal election (25%) think Trudeau has been the worst recent Prime Minister, Canadians who voted for opposition parties all select Harper as their top choice, including three-in-five Green Party voters (59%), almost half of NDP voters (47%) and more than a third of Bloc Québécois (37%) and Liberal (36%) voters.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

Methodology: From August 30 to August 31, 2012, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,510 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.