Jim Flaherty Leaves Job with Pretty Good Reviews

Yesterday, we just finished a national survey (lots of interesting results coming).

Just before we launched the survey, I was able to include a question asking Canadians to rate Jim Flaherty’s time as Canada’s Finance Minister.

Overall, he received positive to neutral ratings from most Canadians.

Fifteen percent rated his performance as excellent while 27% rated his performance as good.  A third (31%) rated his performance as “ok” while about one in ten thought he had done either a poor or very poor job as Minister of Finance.  Seventeen percent were unsure.


Among swing voter groups, Flaherty’s performance was more positive among those in the “flexible right” group (excellent/good 55%, ok 24%, poor 4%) than those in the “flexible left” group (excellent/good 30%, ok 40%, poor/very poor 15%).


The numbers suggest that Flaherty was an asset to the Harper government.   While the government’s overall job performance has been polarized and hovering around the 30-33% mark, perceptions about Flaherty’s performance  were markedly better.

Most important for the Harper government, among  those who voted Conservative in 2011, Flaherty 63% rated his performance as excellent or good compared with 25% who said “ok” and three percent who rated him as poor.  The Tories can’t get re-elected unless they get most of their past supporters to show up again and vote Conservative.  Flaherty was a key part of the government’s narrative on the economy.

Swing Voter Group Descriptions
Fully flexible – would consider voting NDP, Liberal, Conservative.
Flexible left– would consider voting Liberal and NDP, but not Conservative.
Flexible right – would consider voting Conservative and Liberal, but not NDP.

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted online with 1,164 respondents by Abacus Data. A random sample of panelists was invited to complete the survey from a large representative panel of Canadians, recruited and managed by Research Now, one of the world’s leading provider of online research samples.  The survey was conducted from March 19 to 23, 2014.

The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association policy limits statements about margins of sampling error for most online surveys.   The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of the same size is +/- 2.9%, 19 times out of 20.

The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.