The First Hong Kong Chief Executive Election Debate

The headlines:

(The Standard)  Sparks fly in face-off.  By Michael Ng.

Sparks flew when Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen and his challenger Civic Party legislator Alan Leong Kah-kit met Thursday in the first election forum since the handover.

(SCMP)  Guarded Tsang vs combative Leong

Leong wins the critics' verdict in TV debate [Challenger Alan Leong Kah-kit emerged the winner of last night's televised chief executive debate with incumbent Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, according to academics and a public relations expert.]

Combination of fulfilled dreams and a leader's frank admission [Jubilant supporters of challenger Alan Leong Kah-kit saw the challenger's performance against Donald Tsang Yam-kuen in the televised debate as a fulfilment of their wildest dreams.]

Lost support regained [Civic Party legislator Alan Leong Kah-kit's most significant achievement from his performance at the TV forum last night was regaining support from the pan-democratic camp after his controversial political reform proposals.]

How rival put chief in the shade [Their faces said it all. Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, the tired-looking incumbent, was visibly uneasy, constrained and unsure. Alan Leong Kah-kit, the challenger full of vigour and passion, was on top of his game, seizing every opportunity to attack the weak points of Mr Tsang and his administration.]

(am 730)

煲呔守 袋巾攻  [Bowtie defends; Pocket Kerchief attacks]

(Apple Daily)

特首候選人辯論 梁家傑好嘢!  曾蔭權面黑發晦氣  [Chief Executive Candidates' Debate: Alan Leong was great; Donald Tsang turned dark in the face and threw a temper]

(Headline Daily)

特首候選人辯論 指港擁9000億 講錯儲備 袋巾露底  [Chief Executive Candidates' Debate: Claimed Hong Kong has 900 billion dollars; mispeaking about the reserve, Pocket Kerchief slips up]

(Hong Kong Daily News)

勝辯才, 贏民調  [Leong wins on debate skills; Tsang wins public opinion poll]

(Ming Pao

論壇過招 務實戰溫情  [Battle at the forum; pragmatism versus warm feelings]

專家﹕輕鬆勝拘謹 袋巾勝煲呔   [Expert: Light-hearted ness beats cautiousness; Pocket Kerchief beats Bowtie]

(Oriental Daily)

特首論壇棟篤笑  [Chief Executive forum filled with laughter]

曾梁欠魅力鬧劇一場  [Tsang and Leong lack charisma; it was a farce]

(Sing Pao)

曾梁對陣 唇槍舌劍  [Tsang versus Leong: Lips were guns, tongues were swords]

梁採全攻勢 曾沉應戰  [Leong on full attack; Tsang takes on attack cautiously]

(Sing Tao)

袋巾口才好 煲呔揶揄拖垮股市  [Pocket Kerchief talks well; Bowtie ridicules that stock market would be brought down]

六成半市民支持曾連任  [65% of citizens support re-election of Tsang]

(The Sun)

曾梁互揭瘡疤 答問不切實際  選舉騷欠新思維 [Tsang and Leong pick at each other's scabs; responses were impractical; the election show lacked new ideas]

(Tai Kung Pao

務實謙虛 曾蔭權辯論贏民心()  [Pragmatic and humble: Donald Tsang won the people's hearts in debate]

曾認真答問題市民頻頻鼓掌  [Tsang gives serious answers to questions; citizens applaud frequently]

(Wen Wei Po)

辯論擦出火花 曾實梁浮盡顯  [Sparks fly at debate; show Tsang practical and Leong superficial]

3大死穴」梁家傑出洋相  ["Three dead spots" Alan Leong makes fool of himself]

曾蔭權:市民是合作夥伴 [Donald Tsang: The citizens are cooperative partners]

Instant poll results:

(The Standard)  Sparks fly in face-off.  By Michael Ng.

Leong appeared to come out best after the bruising first round, according to an instant poll conducted after the forum by Lingnan University's public governance program.

Of the 611 respondents, 36.5 percent said Leong had upped his image. This compared with 26.7 percent, who thought Tsang won the day.  But it did not all go Leong's way, as 20.9 percent of respondents said his image had been damaged, compared with just 13.1 percent for Tsang.

But when it came to who they would vote for if the election were held today, 61.4 percent said Tsang and just 25.9 percent favored Leong.

(SCMP)  Guarded Tsang vs combative Leong

A poll co-sponsored by the South China Morning Post found that 46.3 per cent of respondents believed Mr Tsang performed better, while 33.7 per cent were more impressed with Mr Leong.

Mr Leong's performance also boosted his support overall, with 21 per cent of respondents saying they would vote for him if they were able to vote in the chief executive election. Only 16.1 per cent said they would have wanted to vote for Mr Leong before seeing the debate.

The almost 5 percentage point boost for the Civic Party lawmaker came from the pool of undecideds rather than Tsang supporters, who were unswayed by the debate. Some 65.5 per cent of respondents said they would vote for Mr Tsang, if they could, after seeing the debate - marginally higher than the 65.3 per cent who would have voted for him before seeing the debate.

The 510 respondents were asked the question after they had watched or listened to the debate for at least five minutes.