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Which political party will be worse off with no deal to avoid splitting the right-of-centre vote in B.C., the B.C. Conservatives or BC United?

Poll: No right-wing deal

A proposed deal to avoid vote splitting between British Columbia's two right-of-centre parties in the fall election has fallen apart with their leaders blaming each other and trading scathing personal remarks.

BC United Leader Kevin Falcon says in a statement the talks ended with B.C. Conservative Leader John Rustad ultimately deciding against a proposed "non-competition" agreement.

Falcon blames Rustad for prioritizing "his own ambition" while Rustad says in a statement that Falcon was "irrational and unreasonable and prepared to lie."

Rustad adds in an interview that BC United's proposal was "completely unacceptable."

Falcon says there were talks between two representatives of each party this month, most recently on Wednesday, and BC United proposed the non-competition framework.

He says the proposal included that the parties would not run candidates against each other's members who were seeking re-election, and the BC Conservatives would run in 47 seats and BC United in 46.

"Despite the common ground achieved during these meetings, last night John Rustad decided to reject a reasonable offer aimed at preventing a vote split, risking another four years of (Premier David) Eby’s NDP government that will further jeopardize the well-being of this province," Falcon's statement on Friday said.

"In doing so, John Rustad placed his own ambition above the best interests of British Columbia."

Falcon was not immediately available for further comment.

Rustad repeated his promise to field a full slate of candidates in all 93 B.C. ridings in October.

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