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Hudak wins Ontario leaders' debate, poll reveals

A new poll reveals that Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak won Tuesday night’s provincial leaders debate.

The Ipsos Reid survey for CTV shows that 36 per cent put Hudak first based on his performance, followed by Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, who were about 10 points behind the Tory leader.

There were no defining moments or leaders who crumbled, but some say Wynne was on the defensive during a double assault from her opponents, who focused on job creation and the gas plant scandal.

While Hudak and Horwath repeatedly hammered Wynne over her party’s costly cancellation of two GTA gas plants, Wynne tried to diffuse the issue by tackling the scandal head-on just minutes into the debate.

“The decisions around the relocation of the gas plants that were made were wrong,” said Wynne. “I’ve apologized. I’ve taken responsibility. There was public money that was wasted.”

The other major topic was unemployment, with Hudak and Horwath both pledging to help create jobs if their respective parties form a government.

Ontario goes to the polls June 12.

 Ipsos post debate poll