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Poll Indicates That Popularity of Federal Tories Could be Bolstering BC Conservatives

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The B.C. Conservatives have seen a boost in their support that may be linked to the popularity of the federal Tories led by Pierre Poilievre, according to a new poll.

Polling firm Angus Reid released a report on April 1 stating that those who support the federal Conservative party are nearly twice as likely to support the provincial Conservatives over the centre-right BC United, formerly the BC Liberals.

The poll found that 56 percent of federal Tory voters supported the B.C. Conservatives, while just 29 percent supported BC United.

B.C. Conservative Leader John Rustad has echoed the slogans of federal Tory Leader Pierre Poilievre, including a similar promise to “axe the tax” regarding his province’s own carbon tax.

Despite the similarities between the two parties, Mr. Poilievre has yet to endorse a party in the upcoming provincial election in B.C., set to take place in the fall.

Polling released last month by the firm Mainstreet Research said that the BC Tories are in second place for support in the province with 34.2 percent of the vote, behind the NDP who command 39.6 percent.

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Mr. Rustad has previously attributed his party’s rise in popularity to voters’ desire for change, rather than a direct link to the federal Conservatives.

For decades, B.C. has not seen a major right-leaning party emerge as a player in provincial politics as previous elections have largely been fought between the left-leaning New Democrats (NDP) and the BC Liberal Party, which rebranded to BC United in April of last year.

Party vice-president Caroline Elliott told CBC News that the name change had been proposed for decades as members of the party did not wish to be perceived as directly connected to the federal Liberals, currently led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

BC United may not be winning over as many federal Conservative voters but the party has a much larger amount of money to spend on the upcoming election, fundraising an estimated $2.98 million, while the BC Conservatives have raised just $443,000, the release said.

BC Conservative party Leader John Rustad is also less known by federal Tory voters but enjoys a higher degree of support than BC United Leader Kevin Falcon, the release said.

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