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Voters cool on Conservative leadership hopefuls: Poll

By Terry Davidson, Toronto Sun

Federal Conservative leadership hopeful Michael Chong garnered the support of 10% of respondents in a Forum Research poll. He had more support than any other candidate. (ERNEST DOROSZUK, Toronto Sun)

Federal Conservative leadership hopeful Michael Chong garnered the support of 10% of respondents in a Forum Research poll. He had more support than any other candidate. (ERNEST DOROSZUK, Toronto Sun)

One thing contenders for federal Conservative leadership won’t win anytime soon is a popularity contest.

None of those in the running to take the helm of Canada’s Conservative Party sit all that well with the nation’s voters, according to a new Forum Research poll.

Of those surveyed, 53% stated they would prefer “someone else” than any of the 14 leadership hopefuls.  Half of Conservative Party supporters felt the same.

It could be a case of none of the candidates having a big enough profile, said Forum Research president Lorne Bozinoff Sunday.

“None of them are really that well known, and I would say most of them are regional candidates,” added Bozinoff. “They might be well known in one region of the country, but the leadership race hasn’t really generated national attention yet. Most of them are ex-cabinet ministers, but they weren’t that high profile.”

A new leader will be chosen to replace interim boss MP Rona Ambrose in May 2017. Former prime minister Stephen Harper stepped down following his devastating 2015 defeat.

Last spring, a Forum poll found that the majority Conservative voters would, if there were an impending election, support the candidacy of businessman and TV personality Kevin O’Leary. That would likely hold true today, Bozinoff said.

“We saw it with the (Donald) Trump thing, the attractiveness of the non-politician,” said Bozinoff. “Kevin O’Leary has a national following ... So I think he would be an attractive candidate.”

O’Leary has not made his intentions public.

According to the latest Forum Research poll, candidate Michael Chong led with the support of 10% of respondents, followed by Lisa Raitt (8%), Kellie Leitch (7%), Chris Alexander (6%), and Maxime Bernier (5%).

The poll of 1,304 respondents is considered accurate within 3%, 19 times out of 20.

TDavidson@postmedia.com



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