Skip to content

More than half of federal Tories in B.C. would vote for provincial Tories

82 per cent of federal New Democrats, 57 per cent of federal Liberals would vote B.C. NDP
A new poll finds more than half of British Columbians planning to vote for the federal Conservatives under Pierre Poilievre would also vote for the Conservative Party of B.C. in the upcoming provincial election. (Don Denton/Black Press Media).

A new poll finds more than half of British Columbians planning to vote for the federal Conservatives under Pierre Poilievre would also vote for the Conservative Party of B.C. under John Rustad.

The poll from Angus Reid Institute released April 1 — the same day, on which the provincial carbon tax rises by 23 per cent - — looks at how current federal vote intentions would impact choices in B.C.’s fall election. So far, B.C. Conservatives — who are not connected to the federal Conservatives — appear to benefit from the strong showing of the federal Conservatives in B.C. in various polls.

According to the poll, 56 per cent of federal Conservative voters “are more likely to support the provincial Conservatives than B.C. United” in October.

B.C. United under Leader Kevin Falcon would draw 29 per cent of federal Conservative voters while 13 per cent of federal Conservative voters would vote for the provincial NDP under Premier David Eby. Eby’s party would get 82 per cent of British Columbians planning to vote for the federal NDP, while 11 per cent of federal New Democrats have signalled their preference for the B.C. Greens under Sonia Furstenau.

Meanwhile, B.C. United — formerly known as the B.C. Liberals — finds itself drawing voters from multiple sources. More federal Liberals — 36 per cent — than federal Conservatives — 29 per cent — would vote for B.C. United in the fall with nearly six out of 10 federal Liberals (57 per cent) planning to vote for the provincial New Democrats.

These figures will likely intensify efforts by the Conservative Party of B.C. to further link the provincial New Democrats under Eby to federal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. At the same time, both provincial Conservatives and B.C. United have been jockeying to position themselves near Poilievre and his strong poll numbers in B.C.

RELATED: As Canada starts to pay more for pollution today, here’s what you need to know

But the Angus Reid survey also bears good news for provincial New Democrats. Federal New Democrats and Liberal supporters see health care and affordability — rather than government deficits — as 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,” it reads.

Federal New Democrats and federal Liberals are also willing to give the current government the benefit of doubt. Despite various criticisms, almost half of federal Liberals and almost six out of 10 federals New Democrats say this is not the time to change government in B.C.

This “bodes well for Eby and the provincial NDP,” the poll report reads.

The poll is less optimistic about the prospects of B.C. United. It notes that B.C. United has perhaps the more difficult job when it comes to navigating issues like the carbon tax because the party’s support comes from both federal Conservatives strongly opposed to the tax and federal Liberals generally supportive of the tax.

“On one hand, it is perhaps beneficial for the party formerly known as the B.C. Liberals to have a foot in both camps, giving Falcon a larger centre-right pool of voters to pull from,” it reads. On the other, it also means B.C. 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.”

This dynamic appears in the difference between the positions of the B.C. Conservatives and B.C. United on the carbon tax.

Provincial Conservatives want to eliminate carbon taxation, period. B.C. United has said it would only cut the tax if the federal Conservatives were to win the next federal election and cut the national carbon tax. New Democrats have said multiple times that they would stick with the tax.

While the B.C. NDP finds itself “as the dominant choice for left-of-centre voters, attracting both federal Liberal and NDP supporters,” vote-splitting “is still an issue for the party in ridings it competes with the B.C. Greens, who have traditionally been strong on (Vancouver Island) and along the Sunshine Coast.”

Looming behind these figures is what Angus Reid calls the emergence of an “unfamiliar” electoral map in B.C.

Unofficial projections from Polling Canada, a public public aggregator for polls, give the B.C. NDP another majority government with provincial Conservatives dominating outside Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island at the expense of B.C. United, following the release of a poll by Mainstreet Research that shows provincial Conservatives within six points of the NDP.

RELATED: New B.C. poll sees NDP in the lead, Conservatives surging within 6 points

Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
Read more