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(03/31/07) -

Two-in-Five Canadians Pick Harper as PM

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Stephen Harper holds the upper hand as the preferred head of government in Canada, according to a poll by Angus Reid Strategies. 41 per cent of respondents believe Harper would make the best prime minister, while 17 per cent select Liberal leader Stéphane Dion.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Stephen Harper holds the upper hand as the preferred head of government in Canada, according to a poll by Angus Reid Strategies. 41 per cent of respondents believe Harper would make the best prime minister, while 17 per cent select Liberal leader Stéphane Dion.

Canadians renewed the House of Commons in January 2006. The Conservative party—led by Harper—received 36.3 per cent of the vote, and secured 124 seats in the 308-member lower house. Harper leads a minority administration after more than 12 years of government by the Liberal party. In December 2006, former environment minister Dion became the new leader of the Liberals.

While 40 per cent of respondents approve of Harper’s performance as prime minister, only 18 per cent feel the same way about Dion’s job as opposition leader. A quarter of respondents say their opinion of Harper improved over the past month, compared with 11 per cent for Dion.

On Mar. 20, Harper defended the inclusion of transfer payments to specific provinces in his government’s second budget, saying, “This is a one-time realignment in transfers to the provinces. It had to be done. (…) (Dion) is going to vote against every (measure) because he already made up his mind before he read it and that is something he will have to explain in the next election.” 36 per cent of respondents think Canada is on the right track, down seven points in three weeks.

Polling Data

Which of these two leaders would make the best prime minister of Canada?

Mar. 28

Mar. 7

Stephen Harper

41%

35%

Stephane Dion

17%

19%

Neither

32%

30%

Not sure

11%

16%

Do you approve or disapprove of Stephen Harper’s performance as prime minister?

Mar. 28

Mar. 7

Approve

40%

37%

Disapprove

39%

41%

Not sure

21%

22%

Do you approve or disapprove of Stéphane Dion’s performance as leader of the opposition?

Mar. 28

Mar. 7

Approve

18%

19%

Disapprove

44%

39%

Not sure

37%

42%

Over the course of the past month, would you say your opinion of Stephen Harper has improved, stayed the same or worsened?

Mar. 28

Mar. 7

Improved

25%

21%

Stayed the same

49%

50%

Worsened

22%

22%

Not sure

4%

7%

Over the course of the past month, would you say your opinion of Stéphane Dion has improved, stayed the same or worsened?

Mar. 28

Mar. 7

Improved

11%

9%

Stayed the same

47%

43%

Worsened

30%

29%

Not sure

12%

19%

Overall, do you think Canada is headed in the right track, or the wrong track?

Mar. 28

Mar. 7

Right track

36%

43%

Wrong track

38%

35%

Not sure

26%

23%

Source: Angus Reid Strategies
Methodology: Online interviews with 2,056 Canadian adults, conducted from Mar. 20 to Mar. 28, 2007. Margin of error is 2.2 per cent.

Complete Poll (PDF)