Three-in-Ten Canadians Say Justin Trudeau is Worst Recent PM

Pierre Trudeau (19%) and Stephen Harper (17%) are ahead when Canadians are asked who the best recent head of government is.

Vancouver, BC [July 8, 2022] – The perceptions of Canadians on the tenure of Justin Trudeau have worsened over the past year, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 29% of Canadians think Justin Trudeau has been Canada’s worst prime minister since 1968, up seven points since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in July 2021.

“Animosity towards Justin Trudeau is decidedly strong in one Canadian province,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Almost half of Albertans (49%) consider him the worst recent prime minister.”

Fewer than one-in-five Canadians (17%) think Stephen Harper has been the worst prime minister since 1968. The numbers are lower for Pierre Trudeau (6%, =), Kim Campbell (also 6%, +1), Brian Mulroney (5%, -2), Jean Chrétien (also 5%, +2), Joe Clark (3%, -1), Paul Martin (2%, =) and John Turner (also 2%, =).

When asked who Canada’s best recent head of government has been, 19% of Canadians (-1) select Pierre Trudeau, while 17% (+1) pick Harper. Justin Trudeau is third with 12% (-1), followed by Chrétien (9%, +2) and Mulroney (8%, -1).

Pierre Trudeau leads Harper as the best recent prime minister among Canadians aged 55 and over (27% to 21%). There is a virtual tie among Canadians aged 35-to-54 (Harper 18%, Pierre Trudeau 17%), while Justin Trudeau leads among Canadians aged 18-to-34 (19%).

British Columbians are split when assessing the best recent head of government (Pierre Trudeau 19%, Harper 17%). Pierre Trudeau tops the list in Quebec (23%), Ontario (22%) and Atlantic Canada (also 22%), while Harper is ahead in Alberta (35%) and Manitoba and Saskatchewan (28%).

The survey also asked questions about 10 different politicians who served as leaders of the Official Opposition in Ottawa over the past five decades.

Just under one-in-four Canadians think the last two leaders of the Conservative Party—Andrew Scheer and Erin O’Toole—would have made good prime ministers (23% each).

The rating on this question is lower for former Conservative Party leader Rona Ambrose (22%, -2), former Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day (20%, =) and two former Liberal Party leaders: Stéphane Dion (18%, -2) and Michael Ignatieff (also 18%, -1).

Three-in-ten Canadians (30%, -1) think former Progressive Conservative leader Robert Stanfield would have made a good head of government. The results are similar for former New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Tom Mulcair (29%, -1) and former Reform Party leader Preston Manning (28%, =).

A majority of Canadians (52%, +2) believe former NDP leader Jack Layton would have made a good prime minister—a proportion that rises to 58% in Quebec and 62% among Canadians aged 55 and over.

Methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted from June 25 to June 27, 2022, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error – which measures sample variability – is +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.

778.929.0490 [e]

Photo Credit: Bobak Ha’Eri