Poilievre preferred among Conservatives, but Charest favored by Canadians: poll

OTTAWA-

Ontario MP Pierre Poilievre remains the overwhelming favorite to be the next leader of the Conservative Party, but trails his opponent Jean Charest in support from Canadians as a whole.

A new Leger poll conducted in collaboration with the Canadian Studies Association suggests that 44 percent of Conservative voters think Poilievre would make the party’s best leader. His main rival, former Quebec premier Jean Charest, has 17 percent backing.

The survey was conducted online August 5-7 among 1,500 Canadian adults selected from Leger’s representative panel. You cannot be given a margin of error because online surveys are not considered a statistically representative sample.

Twenty-two per cent of Conservatives said they did not know which of the five candidates would make the best leader, while eight per cent said none of them would.

Among the remaining candidates, Ontario MP Leslyn Lewis was supported by six percent, Ontario MP Scott Aitchison by two percent, and former Ontario provincial politician Roman Baber by one percent.

This is the first poll on the race conducted by Leger since Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown was kicked out of the race by the leadership organizing committee last month on allegations that he broke party rules and possibly broke election laws. federals.

In a June Leger poll, Poilievre also had 44 per cent support among Conservatives, Charest had 14 per cent support and Brown had four per cent support. The August poll increased Charest’s numbers by three points, while Poilievre’s were unchanged.

Christian Bourque, executive vice president of Leger, said that with the votes already cast, all signs point to a victory for Poilievre.

But he said the poll is also indicative that the Conservative’s preferred candidate may face a tougher path to victory in a general election.

The poll suggests Charest is seen as the best choice for the Conservative leader’s job by 22 per cent of all Canadians, while Poilievre is supported by 16 per cent.

Roughly one in seven Canadians surveyed said a Poilievre win would make them more likely to vote Conservative in the next election, with only a tiny fraction more saying the same of a Charest win.

However, more than one in four respondents said a Poilievre victory would make them less likely to vote Conservative, compared with one in five who said the same about Charest.

That divide is starker in seat-heavy Ontario, where a Poilievre win would make 28 percent of those polled less likely to vote Conservative, compared with 16 percent who said they would vote for Charest.

In Alberta, 24 percent of people surveyed said they would be more likely to vote Conservative if Poilievre wins, and 18 percent said they would be less likely to do so. If Charest wins, 14 per cent of those polled said they would be more likely to vote Conservative, while 27 per cent said they would be less likely to do so.

Bourque said that opens up some existential questions for the Conservatives, who are already winning big in Alberta, with 30 of the province’s 34 seats. In Ontario, the Conservatives hold 37 of the 121 seats available and need to do better in the most populous province to form a government.

Bourque said Poilievre could help the Conservatives win the same seats by wider margins in Alberta, but it won’t do much to help move the needle in Ontario.

“With a Charest win, the math wouldn’t be the same,” he said.

The Conservatives are set to announce the leadership winner on September 10.


This report from The Canadian Press was first published on August 10, 2022.

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