The debate: who won and who lost (and who says)

2014 leaders' debate
La Presse

A watershed of analysis is coming down on last night's leaders' debate. Nearly all agree that all four candidates pulled off strong performances, and most also believe that Marois failed to handle the looming referendum question.

Here is a round-up of how some saw the winners and losers:

Le Devoir

One of paper's most regarded political analysts, Michel David, says of the four leaders, it was Francois Legault who best managed the debate. "The CAQ leader has always had a gift for a powerful form and killer lines," he says, however he beleives his shots may benefit the Liberals. David criticizes Marois for not being able to circumvent questions about a referendum.

Journal de Montreal

One of Quebecor's most prominent commentator, Richard Martineau, gives the debate to Francois Legault. "He was the strongest fighter, and sent his adversaries to the ropes!" he says. He also says that Couillard debated well.


National-level columnist Chantal Hébert does not name a winner, but says the idea that the Liberals could form the next government can not be set aside after last night's debate. She says Marois experienced several difficult moments, including questions over Pierre Karl Peladeau's conflict of interest issues, a referendum, and the charter, which was criticized by all three of her adversaries. Hébert says David succeeeded in guarding off against the Parti Quebecois' attempts to get sovereigntists to rally to its side.

La Presse

Vincent Marissal says the debate was a draw. He says all four leaders carried themselves well. Marois was solid, although at times she looked irritated. He says her quip about Fatima Houda-Pepin was well delivered.


Alain Dubuc - Philippe Couillard

François Cardinal - Françoise David

Michel Hébert - Philippe Couillard

Don McPherson -Philippe Couillard

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  1. Liam posted on 03/21/2014 11:10 AM
    Pauline Marois is just so annoying. She came off as very aggressive and annoyed. Her body language and finger-pointing was a real turn off. She completely and deceptively avoided the questions. Philippe Couillard came across as very compitent and confident. I feel comfortable voting for him, not just out of a lack of choice. Francois Legault did really well, I actually like the guy and hope he will team up with the Liberals. I like his ideas, but wouldn't want to split the vote. Françoise David had some great points and strong attacks. I don't agree with all of her policies or raison d'être, but she is really well spoken. Here's hoping the PQ is decimated on Election Day. We cannot mentally, socially and financially afford to continue down this divide and conquer policy. Time to become a strong BILINGUAL province.
  2. Karla Liebrandt posted on 03/21/2014 12:07 PM
    While I do not believe there was an overall winner in last night's debate, I think Philippe Couillard carried himself well for the first time. Francois Legault was fighting for his life. Francoise David carried herself very well and had more conviction than the other three. I found that Pauline Marois was constantly on the attack, defensively as well as offensively, especially against Couillard. She was constantly harping on about the same old gang from the bad old days of Jean Charest. If I was Couillard, I would have pointed out that Mme Marois was an assistant to Lise Payette and Jean-Francois Lisee was an assistant to Jacques Parizeau in 1980. Talk about the same old gang! It will be interesting to see the second round.
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