The Pollcast: Talking leaders' debates

On the latest episode of the Pollcast, the CBC's Jacques Poitras breaks down Wednesday's leaders' debate in New Brunswick and Chad Rogers of Crestview Strategy talks about what goes into debate preparation.

What went down in the N.B. leaders' debate and how leaders prepare for them

NDP Leader Jennifer McKenzie, left, Green Party Leader David Coon, People's Alliance Leader Kris Austin, Liberal Leader Brian Gallant and Progressive Conservative Leader Blaine Higgs before the start of Wednesday's debate in New Brunswick. (Marc Grandmaison/The Canadian Press)

The provincial leaders' debate in New Brunswick took an unexpected turn Wednesday night when Progressive Conservative Leader Blaine Higgs took a sworn affidavit out of his jacket, claiming that he had been offered the job of finance minister when Liberal Leader Brian Gallant took power in 2014.

What kind of impact will this have on the election campaign in New Brunswick — and how do leaders prepare for the unexpected in debates?

On this week's episode of the Pollcast, the CBC's Jacques Poitras breaks down the leaders' debate in New Brunswick and how Higgs's surprise declaration could have an effect on the rest of the campaign. He also gives his take on how all the leaders did in the first debate of a campaign that ends on Sept. 24.

And as party leaders in Quebec prepare for the first of three debates in that province's campaign, Chad Rogers, partner at Crestview Strategy and a veteran of debate preparation, describes what goes on behind the scenes when leaders get ready for what can be the turning point of an election.

Jacques Poitras breaks down the leaders' debate in New Brunswick and Chad Rogers tells us what goes into debate preparation. 26:12

Listen to the full discussion above — or subscribe to the CBC Pollcast and listen to past episodes of the show.

Follow Éric Grenier, Jacques Poitras and Chad Rogers on Twitter.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.