Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Prime Minister Stephen Harper listens to a question during a joint news conference with his Honduran counterpart in San Pedro Sula on Aug. 12, 2011.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

Stephen Harper is quickly gaining ground as the best prime minister since 1968, according to a new Angus Reid poll.

Mr. Harper is in second place in the online survey after Pierre Trudeau, with 19 per cent support compared to 36 per cent for the late Liberal prime minister. Jean Chrétien, who held office from 1993 to 2003, is in third place with 12 per cent.

Although Mr. Harper is well behind Mr. Trudeau, his "fluctuations" on the best-prime-minister question have caught the eye of Angus Reid pollster Mario Canseco.

Story continues below advertisement

In 2007, Mr. Harper had polled around 14 per cent. His support had not really changed until this year when he gained eight points from last year's mark of 11 per cent.

"Gaining eight points in a year is remarkable, although he continues to trail Trudeau," Mr. Canseco told The Globe. "We'll have to see if the majority provides Harper with a chance to gain some points."

Mr. Harper finally won a majority government in the May 2 election. Brian Mulroney, who won two for the Progressive Conservatives between 1984 to 1993, came fourth in the survey, scoring 6 per cent.

"Mulroney's still facing tough times," Mr. Canseco said, noting that in 2007 he was at 14 per cent. The pollster believes that Mr. Mulroney's numbers are down not so much because of recent controversies, but because "centre-right voters now have someone they like more."

He noted that Mr. Harper had been Prime Minister for only two and a half years when the first survey was conducted in 2007.

Mr. Mulroney, meanwhile, was followed by Mr. Chrétien's successor, Paul Martin, with 2 per cent. Joe Clark also came away with 2 per cent while Kim Campbell and John Turner scored just 1 per cent support in the survey.

When asked about who they considered the worst prime minister, poll respondents said Mr. Mulroney and Mr. Harper. The Tory pair were tied with 19 per cent. "[Mr. Mulroney]always been first or second as worst PM," Mr. Canseco said.

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Trudeau came third with 13 per cent followed by Mr. Chrétien, with 10 per cent, and Ms. Campbell with 8 per cent. Mr. Clark and Mr. Martin both scored 4 per cent and Mr. Turner came through with 3 per cent on the worst-prime-minister ranking.

Mr. Canseco also broke down the numbers on a regional basis. "The fascinating aspect on the worst PM question is where the animosity comes from," he says. "For Trudeau, it's Alberta, not just because of the [national energy program] but also because that is the province where the centre-left parties have the hardest time connecting."

Twenty-three per cent of Albertans thought Trudeau was the worst prime minister compared to 6 per cent for Mr. Harper.

The current Prime Minister, however, does not score well in Atlantic Canada or Quebec – "the areas where the Conservatives are least popular," according to Mr. Canseco.

In fact, 28 per cent of Atlantic Canadians felt Mr. Harper was the worst PM compared to 6 per cent in Alberta.

The online poll of 1,002 Canadians was conducted between Aug. 10 and 11.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies