A little more than two months away from Conservative party voters choosing their new leader, Pierre Poilievre continues to comfortably lead polls, although less so in B.C.
The latest mid-June rundown from Leger shows out of 1,528 Canadians, 18 per cent believe Poilievre is the right man for the job. The number of people in favour of him drops to 13 per cent when constrained to B.C., compared to 26 per cent in Manitoba/Saskatchewan and 27 per cent in Alberta.
Once limited to Conservative party voters only (389 polled), Poilievre’s approval leaps to 44 per cent. The other four potential new leaders fall significantly lower, with Jean Charest receiving 14 per cent of support, Leslyn Lewis receiving three per cent, Roman Baber receiving two per cent and Scott Aitchison claiming one per cent. Of the remaining polled voters, eight per cent said “none of these people,” and 23 per cent said “I don’t know.”
Four per cent of people indicated support for Patrick Brown, who has since been removed from the race.
Including non-Conservative party voters as well, in B.C. the “none of these people” and “I don’t know” responses jump to 24 per cent and 47 per cent, respectively. The Leger poll doesn’t show results for Conservative party voters solely in B.C.
The leadership vote is set to take place on Sept. 10. These are the top three candidates:
The 43-year-old is a Calgary-born MP for the Ottawa-area and the Conservative party’s finance critic. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in international relations and commerce from the University of Calgary before entering into his political career.
Poilievre was the first to throw his hat into the ring after Erin O’Toole announced his departure, and has since campaigned on a platform of personal freedom and limited government. His message has garnered large crowds around the country.
Poilievre has been especially vocal about the COVID-19 pandemic, calling government mandates “unscientific,” tabling a bill to ban vaccine requirements, and strongly supporting the convoy of protesters who occupied downtown Ottawa for weeks.
He has also spoken at length about his plan to increase the number of homes being built, ban overseas oil, require universities to uphold his understanding of free speech to be eligible for federal grants, scrap the carbon tax and increase resource extraction.
He lives in the Eastern Ontario village of Greely with his wife Anaida and their children Valentina and Cruz.
The 64-year-old former premier of Quebec hails from Sherbrooke and has been in the federal political ring since 1984. Then 28 years old, Charest won his hometown riding seat for the Progressive Conservatives, and went on to serve as the minister for the environment, state of youth, and industry, as well as deputy prime minister.
He served as the leader of the now-defunct PC Party in the mid-1990s before switching to lead the Quebec Liberal Party to three victories during the early 2000s. In 2012, Charest lost to the Parti Québécois and exited politics to consult at the law firm McCarthy Tétrault.
Charest is considered a more moderate option out of the six leadership hopefuls, having included a conservative climate change plan in his campaign, and promised to address things like childcare. He also described himself as pro-choice in response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
He’s been criticized by his fellow candidates for his work advising Huawei in Canada’s 5G rollout.
Charest is a father of three and lives in Montreal with his partner Michèle Dionne.
Born in Jamaica, the 51-year-old moved to Ontario at a young age and now works as a lawyer and serves as MP for the Haldimand—Norfolk riding. She made history in 2020 when she became the first Black woman to run for Conservative leadership, although she fell shy of winning then at third place.
She has a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Environmental Studies with a concentration in business and a PhD in international law from Osgoode Hall Law School. She worked on Bay Street in Toronto and owned a small business before first trying out federal politics in 2015.
She lost then after being thrown into the pool last minute when a video of the original candidate showing him urinating into a cup while working in someone’s home surfaced online. She won the Haldimand—Norfolk riding in 2021.
Lewis’ campaign promises to unify Canada in “the spirit of love and togetherness.” She has plans to defund the CBC, strengthen border security and build more homes. She has been vocally pro-life, and opposes the decriminalization of drugs.
The mother of two lives in Dunnville, Ont. with her family.
-With files from The Canadian Press
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that fact that Patrick Brown has been disqualified from the leadership race.