Conservative Party leadership: Charest far behind the “head duo”

Ex-Minister Rona Ambrose is at the forefront of Canadian support for potential candidates for the leadership of the Conservative Party, followed by ex-Minister Peter MacKay, while former Quebec Liberal Premier Jean Charest is far behind the leading duo, suggests a Léger poll conducted for The Canadian Press.
The executive vice-president at Léger, Christian Bourque, speaks of a “leading duo” in a race that remains “relatively open”, and the rules of which are not yet known.

Several Quebecers tempted by the leadership of the Conservative Party

With 18% of Conservative supporters in the poll presenting her as the best potential chief, Ms. Ambrose is the only candidate anticipated who “can claim a coronation”, said in an interview with Mr. Bourque, saying he believed that other candidates prospective buyers may wait to find out if Ms. Ambrose will be racing before diving themselves.

Stephen Harper is in a very good position in the poll, even if he could probably be “removed from the equation”, recognizes Mr. Bourque, the ex-chief did not show interest in being part of the race . Like Ms. Ambrose, he obtained 18% of the support from Conservative supporters.

Mr. Mackay is the choice of 12% of the Conservative supporters polled, and Mr. Charest obtains the support of 4% of them.

The poll indicates that 29 percent of Conservative supporters “did not know what to answer” or “did not want to answer” when asked to name the best potential CCP leader.

Mr. Charest, who was leader of the Progressive Conservative Party in the 1990s, is the choice of 15% of those polled in Quebec, followed by the current member Gérard Deltell, with 10% support. Ms. Ambrose won the favor of 6% of people surveyed in Quebec.

“From a Quebec point of view, when we heard about Mr. Charest (as a potential candidate), we felt that it was” big “news, that we imagined” national “, but it seems that it did not go much further than Quebec, ”argued Mr. Bourque.

In addition, Mr. Charest “polarizes” in Quebec more than other Quebec candidates – like Mr. Deltell or Michael Fortier -, which could harm him in a possible race, according to him.

“There are voices that will oppose Mr. Charest in Quebec, because of his past as Premier of Quebec, and all the allegations and rumors around UPAC and others,” noted Mr. Bourque .

Léger’s Executive Vice-President also points out that no provincial premier has become Prime Minister of Canada in the history of the country, noting the little support for Jason Kenney outside his province – even in Alberta , it is only credited with 8% of the support of Canadians surveyed.

Among all the 1554 Canadians interviewed in the last week, Ms. Ambrose, former interim leader of the Conservative Party, obtained 10% of support, compared to 7% for Mr. Mackay, and 5% for Mr. Charest.

Immigration and finance

Other issues that could be crucial for the next leader are addressed in the survey, such as immigration. Thus, 63% of Conservative supporters polled want the next leader to favor a reduction in the number of immigrants, a delicate subject for the Conservative Party, according to Mr. Bourque.

“This goes a little against the Canadian narrative of an open, hypertolerant country, which welcomes more and more immigrants. Conservative campaign candidates have always stood relatively far from the subject of immigration, because it is a political trap. But there is a message sent by the Conservative supporters there that goes a little against the Canadian narrative, and they must take note of it, “he argued.

Even more revealing is finance, with 82% of Conservative supporters wanting the next leader to keep budgets balanced and avoid deficits.

“The most important characteristic if you are a supporter of the CCP is to have a leader who will restore budgetary balance, and this is something that the Conservatives practically left out of their election campaign this fall,” noted Mr. Bourque.

Fluency in French does not seem to be a priority asset in the eyes of those surveyed. Thus, 44 percent of Conservative supporters believe that the next leader should be perfectly bilingual, while 53 percent of Conservative supporters do not attach importance to this question.

The online survey was conducted from January 3 to January 7, and no margin of error can be linked to a non-probability sample.

The Conservatives will elect their new leader on June 27 at a leadership convention in Toronto.

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