Pierre Trudeau maintains his position as the best Canadian prime minister of the past five decades, but the current head of government has seen his numbers rise in the past year, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.
In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,002 Canadian adults, 36 per cent of respondents think Trudeau has been the best prime minister since 1968.
Stephen Harper is now second on the list with 19 per cent—up eight points since 2010—followed by Jean Chrétien with 12 per cent, and Brian Mulroney with six per cent.
Trudeau is particularly popular in Atlantic Canada (52%), Manitoba and Saskatchewan (41%) and Ontario (also 41%). Harper is the top choice for Albertans (35%). Chrétien and Mulroney have their best showing in Quebec (14% each).
Since Angus Reid Public Opinion began asking this question in 2007, Trudeau has consistently been backed by at least one third of respondents, and Mulroney has lost more than half of his supporters since 2007 (going from 14% to 6%).
When Canadians are asked about the worst prime minister the country has had since 1968, Mulroney and Harper are tied with 19 per cent, followed by Trudeau with 13 per cent, Chrétien with 10 per cent, and Kim Campbell with eight per cent.
The regional breakdown shows that while Albertans pick Trudeau as the worst prime minister and Quebecers select Harper, respondents in British Columbia, Ontario and Atlantic Canada are divided on whether Mulroney or Harper have been the worst.
The overall trend in this question shows Mulroney at the same level he had in 2009, while Trudeau and Chrétien have maintained stable numbers since 2007.
Mario Canseco, Vice President, Angus Reid Public Opinion
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Methodology: From August 10 to August 11, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,002 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 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.