After hearing the feedback from Quebecers, I know what I saw wasn't partisan filter. I don't think there was any knockout blows, or that sort of frame, but Dion was measured, detailed, coherent, engaged and politely forceful. If you watched the body language, you would have seen Duceppe constantly looking to Dion as he spoke, as though an acknowledgement of respect, I found that unconscious cue quite telling.
Harper lost, period. At times he had no answers, at others feeble words, quickly talked over by others. Duceppe did well, but Duceppe always does well. Layton had his moments, but pretty forgettable. May "stole" the debate in the expectations department, refreshing and authentic. But, overall Dion wins, not just because people agree, but because he was able to confront the shallow negative impressions. Dion showed he can be PM, he provided a stark contrast. Interestingly, the Liberals Harper/Bush comparison was echoed continually by everyone, which only reinforces the talking point.
Bravo Stephane, and apparently that impression isn't just partisan spin ;)
Ipsos out with some reaction, and guess what:
French Leaders Debate Audience Says Dion Clear Winner
1 in 5 (20%) Viewers Say They Changed Their Mind
Toronto, ON — The results of a near instantaneous Ipsos Reid/CanWest News Service survey of French-speaking Canadian voters who watched Wednesday night’s French-language leaders’ debate has revealed:
Liberal Leader Stephane Dion emerges as the clear winner of Wednesday’s debate with 40% of Canadian voters who viewed the French language debate saying he won, compared with 24% who feel that Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe won, 16% who feel that Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper emerged victorious, 11% who feel that NDP Leader Jack Layton won, and just 1% who feel Green Leader Elizabeth May won.
Being Prime Ministerial…
Nearly four in ten (36%) found Stephane Dion (up 21 points) to be the leader who sounds and acts most like a Prime Minister, placing him ahead of Prime Minister Harper (31%, down 14 points). Gilles Duceppe was next (17%, up 4 points), followed by Jack Layton (12%, down 4 points) and Elizabeth May (1%, unchanged).
The Best Ideas and Policies…
According to 41% (up 15 points since pre-debate poll) of voters, Stephane Dion offered the best policies and ideas during the debate. In second place was Gilles Duceppe (22%, up 6 points), followed by Jack Layton (19%, down 5 points), Stephen Harper (13%, down 9 points) and Elizabeth May (1%, down 1 point).
Likeability of the Leaders…
Jack Layton scored the best in terms of likeability with 46% of viewers (down 12 points) saying that he was the most likeable and the person they’d most like to go out for a beer or coffee with. Next was Gilles Duceppe (18%, up 1 point), Stephan Dion (14%, up 5 points), Stephen Harper (10%, up 2 points) and finally Elizabeth May (9%, up 6 points).
Impressions of the Leaders…
Subtracting worsened impressions from improved impressions, opinions of Stephane Dion improved (net +56) the most as a result of the debate, while Jack Layton (net +48) also fared well. Gilles Duceppe (net +30) also had a solid performance, according to those who watched the debate, as did Elizabeth May (net +18). Opinions of Stephen Harper plummeted (net -39) among those who viewed the debate.
Stephen Harper 14% 53%
Stephane Dion 67% 11%
Jack Layton 55% 7%
Gilles Duceppe 41% 11%
Elizabeth May 42% 24%
Most Visually Attractive…
One in three (33%) who viewed the debate found Jack Layton to be the most visually attractive (down 7 points), followed by Gilles Duceppe (22%, up 2 points), Stephane Dion (19%, up 13 points), Stephen Harper (15%, down 5 points), and finally Elizabeth May (5%, unchanged).
Effect of Debate on Vote…
Overall, the effect of this debate on voters’ intentions has not been insignificant. Two in ten (20%) French-speaking Canadians who watched the debate say that they have changed their mind about who to vote for on October 14 as a result of viewing the debate.
Ah, voters, how quaint.