3 in 10 say Justin Trudeau is the worst recent PM, 1 in 5 call Pierre Trudeau the best: survey

A new survey has found more Canadians consider Justin Trudeau the worst prime minister of the last 55 years than any other PM, while his father ranks as the most popular.

The survey, conducted by Research Co., found that 30 per cent said the current prime minister is the worst among recent PMs, while his predecessor Stephen Harper comes in second at 18 per cent..

In addition, 20 per cent of surveyed Canadians believe that Pierre Trudeau has been the best prime minister since 1968, marking a one-point increase compared to a similar survey conducted in June 2022. On the other hand, 11 per cent of Canadians said the same thing about Justin Trudeau.

The survey also found that despite being considered the worst by 18 per cent of Canadians, 17 per cent of Canadians consider Harper the best, and his popularity is much higher in Alberta.

“More than a third of Albertans (36 per cent) believe Stephen Harper has been Canada’s best recent prime minister,” of Research Co. President Mario Canseco, said in a press release on Friday. “Pierre Trudeau fares best in British Columbia (27 per cent), Ontario (23 per cent) and Atlantic Canada (22 per cent).” 

When it comes to Atlantic Canadians, 32 per cent of them ranked Harper as the worst recent head of government in Canada.

In Alberta, Justin Trudeau’s negative rating reaches 45 per cent, while it’s 36 per cent in British Columbia and 36 per cent in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

The survey also included questions about 10 distinct politicians who have served as leader of the Official Opposition in Ottawa over the past five decades. The findings reveal that 48 per cent (down four points) of Canadians believe former NDP leader Jack Layton would have made a “very good” or “good” prime minister, with 61 per cent respondents aged 55 and over sharing this perspective.

Additionally, five former leaders of the opposition were reviewed positively by more than one-in-five Canadians: ex-Reform Party leader Preston Manning (28 per cent, down one point), former Progressive Conservative leader Robert Stanfield (27 per cent, down three points), former NDP leader Tom Mulcair (also 27 per cent, down two points), as well as former Conservative leaders Andrew Scheer (22 per cent, down one point) and Erin O’Toole (also 22 per cent, down one point).

The rating is lower for former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff (19 per cent, up one point), Stockwell Day (also 19 per cent, down one point), former interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose (18 per cent, down four points) and former Liberal leader Stéphane Dion (also 18 per cent, unchanged).


1. Pierre Trudeau – 20 per cent

2. Stephen Harper – 17 per cent

3. Jean Chrétien – 11 per cent

4. Justin Trudeau – 11 per cent

5. Brian Mulroney – 8 per cent

6. Paul Martin – 3 per cent

7. Joe Clark – 2 per cent

8. John Turner – 1 per cent

9. Kim Campbell – 1 per cent


1. Justin Trudeau – 30 per cent

2. Stephen Harper – 18 per cent

3. Kim Campbell – 7 per cent

4. Brian Mulroney – 6 per cent

5. Pierre Trudeau – 5 per cent

6. Jean Chrétien – 3 per cent

7. Joe Clark – 3 per cent

8. Paul Martin – 2 per cent

9. John Turner – 1 per cent



Results are based on an online study conducted on July 4 and July 5, 2023, 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, nineteen times out of twenty.


Reporting for this story was paid for through The Afghan Journalists in Residence Project funded by Meta.

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