Tonight was Debate Night in the Ontario provincial election and three of our H+K Ontario political experts were watching and tweeting their comments and analyses in real-time. Want to know what they said? Check out each of their top five debate tweets below. Want to know their concluding thoughts? Check those out below too. And for the ultimate full coverage, check out their full Twitter feeds at @ORadchenko, @VonAlissa, @CathyWorden as well as H+K Strategies Canada on Twitter at @hk_canada.
Wynne often struggled to have her voice rise above her opponents’ and she let her irritation peek through. She also failed to use many opportunities to attack Hudak on the questionable math in his Million Jobs Plan. Hudak had well-articulated messages but struggled to deliver them in an authentic manner. Horwath had memorable one-liners that were well delivered. In the end, what will be key is how many voters actually tuned in and therefore how much the above will actually have an effect on E-day.

With so many attacks on math, it was a wonder that the candidates didn’t have to answer a skill-testing question to start the debate. It’s hard to say if this debate changed anyone’s mind – each candidate had their cross to bear. Wynne was predictably under fire, but couldn’t rise above it. Horwath had some fun zingers, but used her cue cards too much demonstrating a lack of preparedness. Tim Hudak was at ease on stage, but still has challenges with coming across as genuine. In the end, I’d call it for Hudak because throughout the entire debate he was never caught on the back foot.

There was no candidate tonight that shone as the indisputable choice for Premier. Wynne was pushed off her messaging by effective attacks from her two opponents. Horwath did well attacking but took no time to outline any details of an NDP plan. Hudak was the best at getting across attacks and the details of his plan but his delivery style and injection of personal stories were a serious distraction. Verdict?  Hudak performed the best. But I doubt tonight will be the final deciding factor for voters.