Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau speaks at a press conference in Ottawa on June 19, 1972. Beside him is Cabinet Minister Jean Chretien. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter Bregg

Canadians pick Pierre Trudeau as the top prime minister since 1968, new poll suggests

Poll shows 54 per cent of Canadians believe former NDP leader Jack Layton would have made good prime minister

A quarter of Canadians feel Pierre Trudeau has been the best prime minister to serve as the head of government since 1968, suggests a new poll from Research Co.

Twenty-three per cent of the 1,000 adults polled selected the eldest Trudeau, followed by Stephen Harper (16 per cent), Justin Trudeau (15 per cent), Jean Chrétien (11 per cent) and Brian Mulroney (8 per cent).

Despite coming second in the “best prime minister” question, Stephen Harper was also polled as the prime minister Canadians disliked the most, collecting 23 per cent of the votes on that question.

“The regional disparities are evident on the worst prime minister question,” said Mario Canseco, president of Research Co in a press release. “Three-in-ten Atlantic Canadians (31 per cent) select Harper, while 25 per cent of Albertans choose Justin Trudeau.”

The poll also asked Canadians to answer which opposition leader who never served as prime minister would have been the best and worst prime minister. The nine options available included Robert Stanfield, Preston Manning, Stockwell Day, Jack Layton, Michael Ignatieff, Stéphane Dion, Thomas Mulcair, Rona Ambrose, and Andrew Scheer.

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The poll shows that 54 per cent of Canadians polled believed Layton – who led the New Democratic Party from 2003 to 2011– would have been a good prime minister, with 14 per cent believing he would have been bad. Fellow former NDP leader Mulcair polled second highest in this question, with 32 per cent of respondents believing that he would have made a good prime minister, and another 26 per cent believing he would have been bad.

Outgoing Conservative Party of Canada Leader Andrew Scheer ranked worst in this question, with 48 per cent of respondents believing he would have made a bad prime minister.

According to its press release, Research Co. conducted the poll online. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error – which measures sample variability – is +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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