Photo of leaders during debate

No clear winner in Ontario Leaders’ debate

asiadmin | May 17, 2022  | Article, Politics | No Comments

According to Advanced Symbolics Inc’s AI, Polly™, last night’s debate between the leaders of Ontario’s four major parties concluded with no candidate coming out on top. Overall, our research found that Steven Del Duca was able to take some attention away from Andrea Horwath; Mike Schreiner stood out from the others as being reasonable; and Doug Ford was able to keep his head above water by focusing on the economy.

While Del Duca did make some headway by prioritizing the Liberals’ 19-point plan and the party’s plan to deal with affordability in his remarks, he was swiftly reminded of the circumstances that lead to the 2018 election including Del Duca’s part in previous Liberal governments and the opportunities they missed while in power, halting any major gains.

Although leader of the official opposition, Horwath chose to focus her attention on Del Duca rather than Ford, resulting in the Conservatives’ position entering and exiting the debate remaining practically unchanged as the Ontario Liberals and New Democrats battled it out.

One moment that stood out from the rest was Schreiner’s challenge to Ford and the Progressive Conservatives on their plans to improve healthcare in Ontario asking, “Have you talked to a nurse lately?”. Ford had no significant response to this, leaving Schreiner to be the only leader on stage taking home a ‘gotcha’ moment, leading to a 200% increase in engagement.

Following the green line, you can see the spike Polly found in Schreiners online engagement at 7:05pm, right after his comments directed to Ford.

According to Polly, the debate resulted with Ford maintaining his favorability with support being at 34.7%, while Del Duca and Schreiner took some attention away from the other parties leading to 27.7% support for the Liberals and 5.7% for the Greens. Finally, Horwath lost some of the momentum she had been building towards during her campaign leading to a small drop off in support to 25.6%.

To find out more about what Polly saw in last night’s debate, you can watch ASI’s CEO Erin Kelly speak with TVO here.

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