On Harper’s 55th birthday, crunching some numbers for the 9th longest-serving PM

- April 30th, 2014
Campaign 2006- On the Harper Plane

Stephen Harper, then aged 46, speaks to reporters on his campaign plane, the day after winning the 2006 general election that would make him the country’s 22nd prime minister. (DAVID AKIN)

Today is Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s 55th birthday. It is also is his 3,005th day in office. (The Library of Parliament counts his first day as Feb. 6, 2006, the day he and his first cabinet were sworn in.)

At 3,005 days in office, the country’s 22nd prime minister is its 9th longest-serving prime minister.

Here’s the top 15 as of today:

  1. William Lyon Mackenzie King: 7,824 days in office.
  2. John A. Macdonald: 6,934 days.
  3. Pierre Elliott Trudeau: 5,620 days.
  4. Wilfrid Laurier: 5,565 days
  5. Jean Chrétien: 3,689 days
  6. Brian Mulroney: 3,202 days
  7. Robert Borden: 3,195 days
  8. Louis St. Laurent: 3,139 days
  9. Stephen Harper: 3,005 days
  10. John Diefenbaker: 2,130 days
  11. R.B. Bennett: 1,902 days
  12. Lester Pearson: 1,824 days
  13. Alexander Mackenzie: 1,796 days
  14. Paul Martin: 786 days

Looking ahead:

  • If Harper celebrates New Year’s Eve this year as prime minister, he will have surpassed St. Laurent, Borden and Mulroney to become the country’s 6th longest serving PM. He will eclipse St. Laurent on Sept. 12, Borden on Nov. 7, and Mulroney on Nov. 14.
  • The next federal general election is scheduled for Oct. 9, 2015. Assuming Harper is still PM, he will have served as PM for 3,542 days — still good enough for 6th. But if he wins in 2015, he would overtake Chretien for the number five spot in the spring of 2016.
  • From here on out, one begins to get an appreciation of how just how long the top five stayed in office. For example, assuming Harper won a majority in 2015 and the next fixed election date was four years later in 2019, Harper would have to win that — and then serve for about two more years to surpass Laurier and Trudeau in May and June respectively of 2021. So Harper — who would be 62 by May of 2021 — must lead his party to victory in at least two more elections before he’d have a shot at 3rd longest-serving PM.
  • To become the second longest serving PM, Harper would have to lead his party to victory in at least three more elections — (2015, 2019, 2023 assuming majorities each time and fixed election dates every four years). Then, on Feb. 1, 2025 — the day before he would mark his 19th anniversary as prime minister – Harper would surpass Sir John A.’s tenure in office.
  • To become the longest serving PM in our history, Harper would have to win at least three more elections (see above) but would also be presumably planning to run again the 2027 general election, which would be held in October of that year. I say he would presumably be thinking of running because he would not surpass King until July 11 of 2027 and, given that an election would be only months away by then, he would have had to have stepped down so the party could find a new leader in time for the 2027 or he would be still leading the party.
  • By the fall of 2027, incidentally, Harper would be 68 years old and, if he’s still PM then, he’d be the longest serving ever.  There are currently 21 MPs who are 68 years of age or older including Garry Breitkreuz and Rejean Genest. Of some note, Paul Martin was 65, Lester Pearson was 65, and Louis St. Laurent was 66 when each of them became PM.
  • King, our longest serving PM, was 47 years and 11 days old when he was sworn in. Harper became PM at age 46, 9 months, 9 days.

Categories: Politics

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6 comments

  1. Blake Dunlop says:

    If Harper manages to secure the dictatorship that he is slowly trying to secure, he will surpass all of them! …and you will be so happy, David!

    • Gabby in QC says:

      What an idiotic reaction from you, Blake Dunlop, to a perfectly innocuous blog post. You can’t tell the difference between facts and opinions, eh?

  2. Blake Dunlop says:

    You will notice that 8 of 14 & 4 of the top 5 were Liberal PMs. That is because centrist politics have been correct for Canada throughout our history & the true centrist party has been the Liberals.
    As the Liberals are getting their act together these days, the policies of Dictator Harper’s extreme right-wing Reform/Conservatives are getting more frantic. Soon the voters will turf them & return once more to the sane centre.

  3. Mike Nelson says:

    None of this will ever happen, as the CONservatives will be turfed in 2015. To think we’ve endured over 3000 days of Stephen Harper is a testament to the patience, resillience and fortitude of the Canadian people. That we still have 18 months to go makes me sick at heart. That anyone would contemplate Harper going head to head with some of our greatest former leaders is an insult to Canada and all we stand for. Here’s to October 2015 and a return to the Canada I used to know and love!

  4. Olga Krahn says:

    Happy Birthday, and many more to come!

Comments are closed.