B.C.’s official opposition leader says he’s not worried about a recent surge in polling numbers for the BC Conservative party, pointing the finger at “voter confusion” amid growing support for the federal Tories.
New polling data released last week placed the BC Conservatives second to the governing NDP with support from 25 per cent of voters, six points ahead of Kevin Falcon’s BC United.
Falcon said he’s “frankly not very concerned about that” when asked this week during an event in Kamloops. He said it’s only been six months since the party changed its name from BC Liberals to BC United, and they expected it would take some time for everyone to get on board.
“The other thing we also realize is that, frankly, the BC Conservatives, the only advantage they have is they happen to have the same name as a federal party called the federal Conservative party,” he said.
“We know that the polling shows that it’s just voter confusion — that they are actually thinking about the federal Conservatives and Pierre Poilievre. They’re not thinking about the BC Conservatives, I can assure you.”
The Leger poll showed 40 per cent of respondents who said they would vote Conservative were not aware of the BC United name change. Across all respondents, one in three were unaware of the change.
The BC Conservatives recently gained official party status — and the funding that comes with it — after BC United MLA Bruce Banman crossed the floor to join MLA John Rustad, leader of the party.
Rustad is a former BC Liberal MLA who was kicked out of the party caucus over his skeptical views on climate change.
Falcon reiterated again that he’s not worried about the polls.
“What we know with confidence is that by the time the election rolls around, as has happened in previous elections I’ve been involved with where the BC Reform or BC Conservatives have between elections looked like they’re doing really well, but by the time that vote comes around, people revert back to the choices that they know can actually form a government and deliver the change they want,” he said.
“That’s why I’m s optimistic that we don’t have to be concerned about that.”
B.C.’s next provincial election is scheduled for Oct. 19, 2024.