83% feel Brian Mulroney did a good job as Prime Minister

Brian Mulroney, the 18th Prime Minister of Canada, held that office from September 1984 to June of 1993. During that time, he launched several major initiatives, some of which were controversial at the time.

Mar 18, 2024

Last week, following Mr. Mulroney’s passing on February 29th, we asked a national sample (1700 adults) of Canadians some questions about Mr. Mulroney’s record.

A remarkable 83% of those surveyed said that Mr. Mulroney had done a good job as Prime Minister. More than 80% in every age group felt that way. Perhaps even more notable, at least three quarters of the supporters of every major political party expressed a positive feeling about Mr. Mulroney’s record.


We also asked respondents how they felt about 5 different aspects of Mr. Mulroney’s policy record. In every case, a broad majority said they thought of these as a positive part of his record, from a low of 63% for replacing the manufacturers sales tax, with the Goods and Services Tax (GST). His efforts to bridge the divide around Constitutional reform was seen positively by 75%. More than 80% offered positive feelings about his efforts to fight apartheid and acid rain. A remarkable 85% saw his negotiation of the Canada-US Free Trade agreement in a positive light.



According to Bruce Anderson: “Brian Mulroney was colourful and some of his major policy initiatives were pretty controversial. But he maintained a conviction that his effort to push policies that were of doubtful popularity in the moment, was the right thing to do, and over time might also win more public acceptance. 

Free trade was close to a 50-50 split in public opinion at the time it was negotiated – as many people worried that Canada would lose cultural identity and be swamped economically.  Today, this signature Mulroney policy is seen as an important part of Canada’s economic success.  His GST was a major political football – but today most people think it was the right way to go. 

His efforts to end apartheid and fight acid rain helped people see his Conservative Party in a positive light on social and environmental questions and reflected the values of the broad base of Canadians.   While he didn’t succeed with the Meech and Charlottetown Accords, Canadians broadly acknowledge and appreciate the spirit behind those efforts.”

The data referenced were gathered online, with a representative sample of 1700 adults across Canada, between the dates March 12, 2024 and March 15, 2024.

About spark*insights

spark*insights is lead by Bruce Anderson, one of Canada’s leading and most experienced public opinion researchers, along with Alex Kohut, former Senior Manager of Research & Advertising in the Office of the Prime Minister. From polling and research to analysis and guidance, we help organizations, uncover the factors driving or influencing public perception to gain valuable insights into the shape and movement of the landscape.

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