South Surrey-White Rock MP Dianne Watts at a 2013 State of the City address in Surrey. (Black Press files)

Ex-Surrey mayor Dianne Watts top pick to lead BC Liberals: poll

Watts beats MLA Sam Sullivan and former finance minister Mike de Jong

Former Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts sits as the favourite to replace Christy Clark as the BC Liberal leader, according to a new survey.

At 39 per cent, the Conservative South Surrey-White Rock MP is nine points ahead of Vancouver-False Creek MLA Sam Sullivan, 11 points ahead of former finance minister Mike de Jong, and 15 points ahead of Richmond-Queensborough MLA Jas Johal.

The figures comes from an Insights West poll published Tuesday.

READ: MP Watts tweets photo from hospital bed

As the former mayor of Surrey, Watts could improve the Liberals’ fortunes in an area where they lost votes at least in part thanks to the NDP’s promises to nix bridge tolls and reconsider the Massey bridge.

Watts also pulled strongly ahead with baby boomers: 49 per cent of them want her as leader ahead of anyone else. Watts has not responded to repeated requests for comment from Black Press.

READ: Surrey BC Liberals look beyond their caucus for next leader

Neither former transportation minister Todd Stone nor former education minister Mike Bernier were memorable to those polled. Only 39 per cent recognized either.

The Liberals are gearing up for their leadership race. The party’s executive met in Vancouver on Sunday to work on the leadership election process and appoint a rules committee.


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