For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for Historical rankings of prime ministers of Canada.

Historical rankings of prime ministers of Canada

East Block (left) and the Office of the Prime Minister and Privy Council (right) have housed the office of the prime minister since Canadian Confederation, the former from 1867–1977 and the latter since 1977.

Surveys have been conducted to construct historical rankings of individuals who have served as prime minister of Canada. These ranking systems are usually based on surveys of academic historians, economists and political scientists. The rankings focus on the achievements, leadership qualities, failures and faults in office.

Scholar survey results

Canadian custom is to count by the individuals who were prime minister, not by terms.[1] Since Confederation, 23 prime ministers have been "called upon" by the governor general to form 29 Canadian Ministries.[1]

Legend
Blue backgrounds indicate first quartile.
Green backgrounds indicate second quartile.
Orange backgrounds indicate third quartile.
Red backgrounds indicate fourth quartile.

Note: Click the "sort" icon at the head of each column to view the rankings for each survey in numerical order.

Sequence Prime Minister Political party Maclean's 1997[2] Maclean's 2011[3] Maclean's 2016[4] Aggr.[5] Time in office (rank)
1 Sir John A. Macdonald Conservative 2 2 3 03 2
2 Alexander Mackenzie Liberal 11 13 13 13 14
3 Sir John Abbott[a] Conservative 17 19 20 20 18
4 Sir John Thompson[a] Conservative 10 14 16 15 16
5 Sir Mackenzie Bowell[a] Conservative 19 21 21 22 19
6 Sir Charles Tupper[a] Conservative 16 18 19 19 23
7 Sir Wilfrid Laurier Liberal 3 1 2 02 4
8 Sir Robert Borden Conservative, Unionist 7 8 9 08 8
9 Arthur Meighen[a] Conservative 14 16 17 17 17
10 William Lyon Mackenzie King Liberal 1 3 1 01 1
11 R. B. Bennett Conservative 12 12 14 14 12
12 Louis St. Laurent Liberal 4 7 6 06 9
13 John George Diefenbaker Progressive Conservative 13 10 12 12 11
14 Lester B. Pearson Liberal 6 4 5 05 13
15 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Liberal 5 5 4 04 3
16 Charles Joseph Clark[a] Progressive Conservative 15 17 18 18 20
17 John Napier Turner[a] Liberal 18 20 22 21 22
18 Brian Mulroney Progressive Conservative 8 9 8 09 7
19 Kim Campbell[a] Progressive Conservative 20 22 23 23 21
20 Jean Chretien Liberal 9[b] 6 7 07 5
21 Paul Martin[a] Liberal 15 15 16 15
22 Stephen Harper Conservative 11[b] 11 11 6
23 Justin Trudeau Liberal 10[b] 10 10
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Served less than 2 years, 3 months, as Prime Minister, while all others served for more than 4 years, 11 months. There is a strong correlation between time served in office and the poll rankings: the bottom quartile of the aggregate poll rankings are all in the bottom quartile of time served in office. Similarly, the top four prime ministers in terms of aggregate rankings are in the top four of time spent in office.
  2. ^ a b c Ranking calculated before the prime minister had left office.

Sequence listed by first term as prime minister.

By approval rating

The following is a list of prime ministers of Canada by their highest and lowest approval rating during their term. The approval rating system came into effect when John Diefenbaker was prime minister (1957–1963).

Highest approval rating

1.   Jean Chrétien66% (September 1994)[6]
2.   Justin Trudeau65% (September 2016)[7]
3.   John Diefenbaker64% (June 1958)[6]
3.   Stephen Harper64% (March 2006)[6]
5.   Brian Mulroney61% (June 1985)[6]
6.   Paul Martin56% (September 2004)[6]
6.   Lester B. Pearson56% (January 1966)[6]
8.   Pierre Trudeau55% (September 1972)[6]
9.   Kim Campbell53% (July 1993)[6]
10.   Joe Clark32% (November 1979)[6]

Note: Ratings are up to date as of February 2024.
Legend:
  Conservative   Liberal   Progressive Conservative

Lowest approval rating

1.   Brian Mulroney12% (November 1992)[6]
2.   Stephen Harper23% (May 2013)[6]
3.   Joe Clark24% (January 1980)[6]
4.   Pierre Trudeau25% (September 1982)[6]
5.   Justin Trudeau30% (December 2023)[7]
6.   John Diefenbaker34% (March 1963)[6]
7.   Jean Chrétien36% (June 2000)[6]
8.   Paul Martin41% (June 2005)[6]
8.   Lester B. Pearson41% (September 1965)[6]
10.   Kim Campbell48% (October 1993)[6]

Note: Ratings are up to date as of February 2024.
Legend:
  Conservative   Liberal   Progressive Conservative

Other surveys

The Institute for Research on Public Policy undertook a survey to rank the prime ministers who had served in the 50 years preceding 2003.[8] They ranked those nine prime ministers as follows:

  1. Pearson
  2. Mulroney
  3. Pierre Trudeau
  4. St. Laurent
  5. Chrétien
  6. Diefenbaker
  7. Clark ^
  8. Turner ^
  9. Campbell ^

^ Served less than 10 months as prime minister, while all others served for more than 4 years, 11 months.

In October 2016, Maclean's again ranked the prime ministers, this time splitting them into two lists. The long-serving prime ministers were ranked as follows:

  1. King
  2. Laurier
  3. Macdonald
  4. Pierre Trudeau
  5. Pearson
  6. St. Laurent
  7. Chrétien
  8. Mulroney
  9. Borden
  10. Harper
  11. Diefenbaker
  12. Mackenzie
  13. Bennett

The short-term prime ministers were ranked as follows:

  1. Martin
  2. Thompson
  3. Meighen
  4. Clark
  5. Tupper
  6. Abbott
  7. Bowell
  8. Turner
  9. Campbell

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Prime Ministers of Canada". Library of the Canadian Parliament. Retrieved 2023-02-26.
  2. ^ Hillmer, Norman and Granatstein, J. L. "Historians rank the BEST AND WORST Canadian Prime Ministers" Archived 2001-07-19 at the Wayback Machine. Maclean's. April 21, 1997. Accessed July 9, 2012.
  3. ^ Hillmer, Norman and Azzi, Stephen. "Canada's best prime ministers", Maclean's, June 10, 2011. Accessed July 9, 2012.
  4. ^ Azzi, Stephen and Hillmer, Norman. "Ranking Canada's best and worst prime ministers" Maclean's, October 7, 2016. Accessed June 22, 2017.
  5. ^ Aggregate of all polls in the table using Copeland's method.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Éric Grenier's Leader Meter". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2018-12-19. Archived from the original on 2021-01-27. Retrieved 2022-02-22.
  7. ^ a b "Trudeau Tracker". Angus Reid Institute. Retrieved 2024-02-04.
  8. ^ MacDonald, L. Ian. "The Best Prime Minister of the Last 50 Years — Pearson, by a landslide," Archived 2014-04-07 at the Wayback Machine Policy Options, June–July 2003. Accessed April 3, 2014.

Further reading

  • Azzi, Stephen, and Norman Hillmer. "Evaluating prime-ministerial performance: The Canadian experience." in Understanding Prime-Ministerial Performance: Comparative Perspectives (2013): 242-263. online
  • Azzi, Stephen, and Norman Hillmer. "Ranking Prime Ministers: Canada in a Commonwealth Context." Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 49.1 (2021): 22-43. online
  • Schwanen, Daniel. "Ranking prime ministers of the last 50 years: The numbers speak." POLICY OPTIONS-MONTREAL 24.6 (2003): 18-23. online
{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
Historical rankings of prime ministers of Canada
Listen to this article

This browser is not supported by Wikiwand :(
Wikiwand requires a browser with modern capabilities in order to provide you with the best reading experience.
Please download and use one of the following browsers:

This article was just edited, click to reload
This article has been deleted on Wikipedia (Why?)

Back to homepage

Please click Add in the dialog above
Please click Allow in the top-left corner,
then click Install Now in the dialog
Please click Open in the download dialog,
then click Install
Please click the "Downloads" icon in the Safari toolbar, open the first download in the list,
then click Install
{{::$root.activation.text}}

Install Wikiwand

Install on Chrome Install on Firefox
Don't forget to rate us

Tell your friends about Wikiwand!

Gmail Facebook Twitter Link

Enjoying Wikiwand?

Tell your friends and spread the love:
Share on Gmail Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Buffer

Our magic isn't perfect

You can help our automatic cover photo selection by reporting an unsuitable photo.

This photo is visually disturbing This photo is not a good choice

Thank you for helping!


Your input will affect cover photo selection, along with input from other users.

X

Get ready for Wikiwand 2.0 🎉! the new version arrives on September 1st! Don't want to wait?