After the RTL election debate: Omtzigt sneaks towards the Torentje

During the election campaign the moment arrives: ‘Does he do it or doesn’t he do it?’ Political editor Eric Vrijsen outlines how the party leaders of the New Social Contract (NSC), VVD and GroenLinks-PvdA will start the final phase.

In the RTL4 debate of Sunday evening, November 5 Pieter Omtzigt the middle. Dilan Yeşilgöz (VVD) in Frans Timmermans (GroenLinksPvdA) showed that the NSCparty leader is the man to beat.

With sixteen days left until the elections, the final sprint begins. VVD and NSC are equal in the polls. GroenLinks-PvdA scores slightly less. But since polls have a margin of error, the Torentje is also accessible to Timmermans.

In the RTL4 debate, Timmermans (wearing a tie) made a prime minister-worthy impression. He delivered his message seriously, clearly and in a calm tone. Omtzigt was more tense. He often had a grimace on his face, which made it seem as if he was already gloating about his election victory and no longer taking his opponents seriously. At the same time, he was able to demonstrate his boundless file knowledge and calculation skills.

Hurried pace

Compared to the weighty Timmermans (62) and Omtzigt (49), Yeşilgöz (46) actually had an advantage as a much sportier-looking woman. But she speaks at a hurried pace. This makes her story volatile and sometimes difficult to follow for viewers.

Yeşilgöz attacked Omtzigt for a perceived lack of financial soundness, because he did not have his program calculated by the Central Planning Bureau. The VVD program is being calculated, but Yeşilgöz could not say much about it because the results will only be known later this week. As a result, the attack lacked sharpness in advance. Omtzigt – a doctor in econometrics – said that no one should doubt his computing power. Yeşilgöz did not object to that.

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