Historical rankings of prime ministers of Canada
Historical rankings of Canadian prime ministers are surveys conducted in order to construct rankings of the success of individuals who have served as Prime Minister of Canada. 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
- 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||Maclean's 2011||Maclean's 2016||Aggr.||Time in office (rank)|
|1||Sir John A. Macdonald||Conservative||2||2||3||03||2|
|3||Sir John Abbott ^||Conservative||17||19||20||20||18|
|4||Sir John Thompson ^||Conservative||10||14||16||15||16|
|5||Sir Mackenzie Bowell ^||Conservative||19||21||21||22||19|
|6||Sir Charles Tupper ^||Conservative||16||18||19||18||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 ^||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||11|
|12||Louis St. Laurent||Liberal||4||7||6||06||9|
|13||John George Diefenbaker||Progressive Conservative||13||10||12||12||10|
|14||Lester B. Pearson||Liberal||6||4||5||05||12|
|15||Pierre Elliott Trudeau||Liberal||5||5||4||04||3|
|16||Joseph Clark ^||Progressive Conservative||15||17||18||18||20|
|17||John Napier Turner ^||Liberal||18||20||22||21||22|
|18||Brian Mulroney||Progressive Conservative||8||9||8||09||7|
|19||Kim Campbell ^||Progressive Conservative||20||22||23||23||21|
|21||Paul Martin ^||Liberal||—||15||15||16||15|
Sequence listed by first term as Prime Minister.
* Ranking calculated before the prime minister had left office.
^ 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.
William Lyon Mackenzie King (photo) is the highest rated prime Minister based on three aggregate results from Maclean's, and is also Canada's longest serving prime minister.
- St. Laurent
- Clark ^
- Turner ^
- 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:
- Pierre Trudeau
- St. Laurent
The short-term prime ministers were ranked as follows:
- Justin Trudeau
- List of prime ministers of Canada by approval rating
- Historical rankings of prime ministers of Australia
- Historical rankings of chancellors of Germany
- Historical rankings of prime ministers of the United Kingdom
- Historical rankings of presidents of the United States
- The Greatest Canadian
- 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.
- Hillmer, Norman and Azzi, Stephen. "Canada's best prime ministers", Maclean's, June 10, 2011. Accessed July 9, 2012.
- Hillmer, Norman and Azzi, Stephen. "Ranking Canada’s best and worst prime ministers" Maclean's, October 7, 2016. Accessed June 22, 2017.
- Aggregate of all polls in the table using Copeland's method.
- 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.