Federal Conservatives take first place in B.C., impacting provincial votes: Angus Reid

A new survey released Monday shows the federal Conservatives have taken top spot in B.C., something which a research group believes to be impacting voters decisions ahead of the provincial election this year.

Non-profit Angus Reid has found 40 per cent of those surveyed in B.C. intend to vote for the federal Conservates, 11 per cent more than the next closest party, the federal NDP.

The Liberals are in third place, with 21 per cent of the share, followed by the federal Green party with 9 per cent.

Angus Reid says its findings show a direct link that those who intend to vote for the federal Conservatives are more likely to support the B.C. Conservatives rather than BC United.

“More than half (56%) of likely federal Conservative voters place their vote with the provincial Conservatives currently. This comes as BC Conservative leader John Rustad has promised to ‘axe’ B.C’s carbon tax if his party were to win the coming election, aligning himself with federal Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre, who has not officially endorsed either United nor the provincial Conservatives,” Angus Reid said in a statement Monday.

Angus Reid says the as the federal Conservatives rise in popularity, provincial leaders Rustad and BCU’s Kevin Falcon “are jockeying for right of centre support.”

“Kevin Falcon are jockeying for right of centre support. Both have taken aim at the province’s carbon tax, though Falcon has only said the party will remove the tax if the CPCs form government federally and axe it nationwide. The issue is perhaps more difficult to navigate for Falcon, as United’s support straddles both federal Liberals and federal Conservatives,” Angus Reid explained.

“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 research group says the BC NDP is still the “dominant choice” for left of centre voters, attracting both federal Liberal and NDP supporters. However, it notes that vote splitting is still a challenged for the BC NDP, as they compete with the BC Greens who “have attracted one-in-six voters in each of the past two elections.”

“Premier David Eby and the NDP government released its pre-election budget in March, projecting a near $8-billion deficit. Despite this, government spending is not typically seen as a major issue for the NDP’s base (see detailed tables),” Angus Reid said.

“Instead, for federal NDP and Liberal supporters, health care and affordability are higher priorities. In both cases, while majorities among those groups feel the government is performing poorly on the issues, they are more likely to praise Eby and the NDP’s handling of the files than others.

“Despite that criticism, (49%) of federal Liberal supporters and a majority (58%) of federal NDP supporters believe now is not the time for a change in government in B.C. (see detailed tables). This bodes well for Eby and the provincial NDP who currently enjoy the support of a coalition including four-in-five (82%) federal NDP supporters and more than half (57%) of federal Liberal supporters.”

The provincial election is slated to be held on Saturday, Oct. 19.

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