OPINION: Sawhney & Smith Win Debate

Going into the first official UCP leadership debate there was little expectation for this writer that someone was going to come away with a one-two punch.

I always watch these debates with the anticipation that there will be a "You had an option, sir" , or "I happen to believe that you've sold us out", or one of the most famous "You know most Canadians if they don’t show up for work, they don’t get a promotion".

At last, there was no knockout punch, each of the candidates tried to get in a zinger or two but none landed in the way that could shape the leadership race in a dramatic method.

The Winners:

The biggest night takeaways though were from former Transportation Minister Rajan Sawhney and former Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith.

Danielle Smith (UCP Leadership Debate ScreenShot)

Smith went into the night with a weight around her neck.

She was prepared to talk about the biggest stumble of her campaign since she announced. Earlier this week Smith said in a podcast, "Once you’ve arrived and got stage four cancer and there’s radiation and surgery and chemotherapy, that is incredibly expensive intervention — not just for the system, but also expensive in the toll it takes on the body.