After she won the provincial Liberal leadership race, many of those who opposed Christy Clark's bid for power got behind her throne. But not everyone has sworn fealty to the new premier. Among them: Hamish Marshall, a well-known conservative backroomer and Prime Minister Stephen Harper's former strategic planning manager. During the leadership race, Mr. Marshall was the spokesperson and pollster for a business coalition that backed competing leadership candidate Kevin Falcon.
Mr. Falcon has pledged to support Ms. Clark, being appointed the government's new deputy premier and finance minister. Meanwhile, Public Eye has exclusively learned Mr. Marshall is now a senior member of the team advising federal parliamentarian John Cummins - who is looking to build a right-wing alternative to the Liberals.
Mr. Cummins, who is retiring as the MP for Delta-Richmond East, announced he was running for the leadership of the BC Conservatives last week - the sole candidate in the race.
Upon learning of Mr. Marshall's involvement with that campaign, Vancouver Island University political science professor Allan Warnke said, "That's pretty significant for the provincial Conservatives."
Mr. Warnke explained third parties, if they want a shot at power, need " people who are not just dedicated - who are true believers and all the rest of it. You've got to have people have some acumen, some experience and some idea how a party works and how you organize a party."
And, according to Mr. Warnke, Mr. Marshall - who was also one of two British Columbia representatives on the federal Conservatives' national council between 2008 and 2010 - fits that bill.
Marshall was also recently the public affairs research director for Angus Reid Public Opinion.