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Federal Conservatives climb to top of B.C. polls, impacting potential votes in the province: Angus Reid


Federal Conservatives appear to be climbing the polls in B.C., which may have an impact on future provincial votes, results from a recent survey suggest.

According to a poll conducted by the Angus Reid Institute, 40 per cent of those surveyed in B.C. intend to vote for the Conservatives in the next federal election. The NDP took second place, at 29 per cent, while the federal Liberals were in third, at 21 per cent.

While that may be good news for Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre's party, a potential link between intended federal votes and provincial votes could be troubling for BC United. Data collected by the institute suggests 56 per cent of those who support the federal Conservatives plan to cast a vote for the provincial Conservatives, while 29 per cent say they'll support BC United in the next provincial election.

According to the Angus Reid Institute, this rise in popularity for the provincial Conservatives is due to the power of branding.

"BC Conservatives have reformed. It's not that they ever went away, they've just been sort of lying dormant for a long, long time," Shachi Kurl, Angus Reid Institute president, told CTV News. "But again what's changed is the popularity of the federal Conservatives."

The institute says John Rustad, leader of BC Conservatives, and Kevin Falcon, leader of BC United, are "jockeying for right-of-centre support."

"The issue is perhaps more difficult to navigate for Falcon, as United’s support straddles both federal Liberals and federal Conservative," a summary from the institute explains.

"On one hand, it is perhaps beneficial for the party formerly known as the BC Liberals to have a foot in both camps, giving Falcon a larger centre-right pool of voters to pull from. On the other, it also means BC United is fighting a two-front war to keep voters from defecting to the Conservatives on its right and bolstering the NDP on its left."

The Angus Reid Institute says Rustad has promised to axe B.C.'s carbon tax if his party wins the upcoming election, aligning himself with Poilievre. But Poilievre has not officially endorsed either Rustad's or Falcon's party.

"The electoral map will be unfamiliar to B.C. – and indeed, national – politicos. For many years, the province had lacked an obvious right-wing, small ‘c’ conservative party contender," the institute says.

B.C.'s next provincial election is scheduled for Oct. 19.

The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from Feb. 28 to March 6, 2024 among a representative randomized sample 809 British Columbian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, 19 times out of 20. 

With files from CTV News Vancouver's Yasmin Gandham Top Stories

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