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Notley-Prentice battle, ‘donor’ zinger, #mathishard dominate social response to debate

WATCH ABOVE: Our panel (Tom Vernon, Vassy Kapelos, Roger Kingkade) offers post-debate analysis of the Alberta leaders debate.

EDMONTON – As four Alberta party leaders faced off in the 2015 election leaders debate, Albertans rated their performances, offering congratulations, criticism and, of course, humour.

READ MORE: Live coverage recap: Alberta election leaders debate 

As soon as the debate started, the #abvote hashtag spiked across Canada. At one point during the event, there were 216 tweets per minute using the hashtag.

Before the debate even began, a Bingo card began circulating online, featuring common phrases likely to be heard (more than once) from the leaders, like ‘Martha and Henry,’ ‘Tough Decisions,’ and ‘Look in the Mirror.’

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When it came to first impressions, many on social media felt NDP Leader Rachel Notley and PC Leader Jim Prentice dominated the discussion, taking on each other on key issues and shutting down the other’s platforms.

Some Albertans felt Wildrose Leader Brian Jean and Liberal Leader David Swann didn’t perform quite as well as the other two candidates.

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WATCH: Social media reaction to the Alberta leaders debate

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When the debate turned to a conversation about the NDP’s policies, including a plan to raise corporate taxes, Prentice turned to Notley and said “I know that math is difficult.”

Twitter erupted, and by the end of the night, the hashtag #mathishard was trending in Edmonton.

READ MORE: Analysis shows Prentice took a beating on Twitter over #mathishard 

Prentice said Friday morning that he was referring to a mathematical mistake made in the NDP platform when it was first released.

Social media comments jumped when Notley delivered what many called a “zing” response to Prentice’s critique of Jean.

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Jean previously admitted his company contributed to Prentice’s campaign because he thought he would bring change. Later, when he didn’t see that change, Jean decided to run for Wildrose leader.

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