I think all the leaders did well in the debate including the Bloc Quebecois' Gilles Duceppe. Prime Minister Harper was calm and focused throughout, while Mr. Ignatieff (Liberals) and Mr. Layton (NDP) were in perfect form, launching attack after attack on Harper and his Conservative party.
It was fun to watch as everything was done in the Canadian way, without any insults and temper tantrums as is common in some countries. All the leaders came prepared, although some of the "facts" thrown out need verification and party researchers may want to be more scrupulous in their "findings."
One thing that was very clear to me and my friends as we watched the debate was that the platforms of the NDP and the Liberals are extremely identical and both are gunning for almost the same voters. That means it will be extremely difficult for any of the two parties to get the majority of the seats in the House of Commons in this particular election if they don't find a way to come together.
The Conservatives, on the other hand, have steady and dedicated voters that would hardly ever waver in their convictions. A poll I read today says Harper's popularity has gone up after the Tuesday debate.This means he is even getting support from some Liberal and NDP supporters.
Mr. Layton was very critical of the Liberals last night, and Ignatieff threw some jabs at him too. Would these two come together to beat Harper? I doubt it.
Meanwhile Mr. Harper is having a great time. I am sure he would not like Mr. Layton and Mr. Ignatieff to come together in this campaign at all. Because that's the only he will get his majority. Cool.