Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

The Conservative Party of British Columbia rises from its ashes, survey finds

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The leader of the British Columbia Conservative Party, John Rustad, feels confident for the provincial election on October 19, 2024. He believes he is the good alternative to the NDP and BC United, especially for young people. He has announced 21 new applications so far.

  • Amélia MachHour (View profile)Amélia MachHour

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The entry of the British Columbia Conservatives into the Victoria Legislative Assembly this fall left no party indifferent. Its leader, John Rustad, is enjoying new momentum under a party that has not had an elected official since 1979.

After being fired in 2022 by Kevin Falcon, the leader of BC United, John Rustad decided to stay in politics and become the leader of a party that many thought was dead in British Columbia.

But what no one saw coming was Abbotsford South MP Bruce Banman slamming the door on BC United by September to join the ranks of Mr. Rustad.

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John Rustad (left) and Bruce Banman (right) met with the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Pierre Poilievre (center) in November to discuss, among other things, ending the carbon tax.

And since then, the Conservative Party has benefited from a rise in popularity because it is often associated with the federal leader, Pierre Poilievre, explains Nicolas Kenny , political analyst and professor in the history department at Simon Fraser University.

[John Rustad] has seized this sleeper vehicle by betting that he will get his hands on the dissatisfied electorate of BC United.

A quote from Nicolas Kenny, political analyst and history professor at Simon Fraser University

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The latest survey from the firm Abacus Data, published this week, shows that the gap in voting intentions in the next provincial elections is widening between the Conservatives and BC United.

To the great pleasure of John Rustad, his party obtained 26% of the voting intentions and BC United 17%. Still according to the survey by the firm Abacus Data, David Eby's NDP continues to lead comfortably with 44% and Sonia Furstenau's Green Party is at 9%.

We are new and growing at a rapid pace. I'm very happy to see everyone coming to join us.

A quote from John Rustad, Leader of the British Columbia Conservative Party

And what makes John Rustad even more confident is that his party appeals to young people. We mainly attract 18 to 35 year olds,” he shares. A trend which is also confirmed by the Abacus Data survey and at the federal level.

With 32 years under the NDP and BC United, the province is in a poor state state. Young people have two jobs, struggle to put food on the table, rent and no longer have hope of buying a home.

A quote from John Rustad, Leader of the British Columbia Conservative Party

Poll Methodology > (New window) (in English)

The survey was conducted among 1,000 British Columbians through panels on the Lucid platform. It was conducted online from November 22 to 28, 2023.

As a guide, a probability sample of this size would have had a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

On the last day of the legislative session, reporters asked Kevin Falcon if he was thinking of forming an alliance with John Rustad.

Unconvinced, he said he was open to the idea of ​​working with a party to defeat the NDP which has, for the moment, a strong majority.

Opposition parties have often attempted to form alliances, including with the Conservatives and Reform BC. We tried to work together and it rarely worked.

A quote from Kevin Falcon, head of BC United

This situation is all the more unsustainable and ironic for the leader of BC United, since he has, by excluding Mr. Rustad, greatly weakened his party, according to Nicolas Kenny, referring to the name change last April, from the party liberal at BC United. He also thinks that it was a strategic error.

To the point where the party recently set up a fund dedicated to making its trademark known to the electorate.

I think Mr. Falcon is feeling the pressure. He must be nervous. Do people know about BC United? With the federal government, the word conservative is more concrete.

A quote from Nicolas Kenny, political analyst and history professor at Simon Fraser University

So, if the gap in voting intentions widens further between BC United and the Conservative Party, perhaps Kevin Falcon will be more open to the idea of ​​working with the two defectors.

On the other hand, even here the game is not won since the two parties risk dividing the vote further which will benefit the NDP, as during the election of the Glen Clark government in 1996.

  • Amélia MachHour (View profile)Amélia MachHourFollow

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