New Brunswick Votes·COMING UP

New Brunswick election: Campaign focus turns to leaders' debates

The leaders of New Brunswick's political parties step off the campaign trail and into a television studio to take part in leaders' debates on CBC and Radio-Canada.

CBC and Radio-Canada to air 90-minute debates at 6:30 p.m. AT Tuesday

New Brunswick's five political leaders will participate in the CBC election debate on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. AT. (CBC)

The leaders of New Brunswick's political parties step off the campaign trail and into a television studio on Tuesday to take part in leaders' debates on CBC and Radio-Canada.

All five party leaders will participate in the English debate airing on CBC.

Progressive Conservative Leader David Alward and People's Alliance Leader Kris Austin have experience in campaign debates, having also participated in the 2010 debate. Liberal Brian Gallant, New Democrat Dominic Cardy and David Coon of the Green Party will be participating in their first provincial campaign debate.

The leaders of the Progressive Conservative, Liberal and New Democratic parties will also take part in the French debate. Due to a lack of French-language proficiency, the leaders of the Green and People's Alliance parties will not debate in French. Instead, Radio-Canada has offered to air interviews with those leaders with French subtitles.

The debates will be 90 minutes long and will be broadcast starting at 6:30 p.m. AT.

The debates will also be live-streamed and will be available on demand after the debates have aired at cbc.ca/nb.

The latest poll showed the Liberals are the campaign's front-runners.

Gallant's Liberals were picked by 48 per cent of decided voters as their preferred party, followed by the Progressive Conservatives at 29 per cent, the NDP at 17 per cent, the Green Party at four per cent and the People's Alliance at two per cent.

The number of undecided voters was 14 per cent. 

The poll indicated that 14 per cent of voters were undecided and seven per cent picked none of the candidates or said they did not plan to vote.

CRA surveyed 800 people between Aug. 19 and 31 on the telephone. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error on the decided vote is four percentage points, based on a sample of 588.

New Brunswickers head to the polls on Sept. 22.

When the legislature dissolved prior to the election, the Tories had 41 seats, the Liberals had 13 and there was one Independent.