Friday, January 21, 2011

Top of the class

Now if only there were some progressive opposition leader seen positively enough by Canadians to offer a meaningful contrast to the barely-tolerated Stephen Harper. Say, what's this?
Canadians rate NDP leader Jack Layton higher than any other elected federal party leader according to a popularity index constructed from a recent survey of eligible voters. Based on data provided by Angus Reid, the popularity index generates a single letter score for each leader, with Jack Layton scoring “A”, Conservative Stephen Harper “C+”, Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe “D”, and Liberal Michael Ignatieff “F”.
Ranked first for seven of nine positive leadership qualities, Jack Layton scores a remarkable 34 out of a possible 36 points (94%). Stephen Harper finishes second overall to Layton with 25 out of 36 (69%). Gilles Duceppe receives 18 out of 36 (50%), while Michael Ignatieff finishes with a 12 out of 36 (33%).

While the index indicates Layton is held in higher regard than his competitors, the size of gap between Layton and the second-place finishers provides additional evidence as to the extent to which he is liked by Canadians. For example, in terms of being “down-to-earth”, Layton is 13 percentage points ahead of second-placed Harper. When it comes to being “honest”, Layton is 16 percentage points ahead of Harper. In terms of being “open”, Layton is 20 percentage points ahead of Ignatieff and a whopping 22 percentage points ahead of Harper and Duceppe when it comes to being “compassionate”.

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