As Nick Clegg found out a fortnight ago, the debates can indeed change everything - and David Cameron's masterful, statesmanlike, passionate and dominant performance last night has put a spring in the step of Tory activists and voters - and a real reason for undecided voetrs to lend us their votes. My feeling is that Cameron's performance was so strong because he both talked in terms of values (We are on the side of people who do the right thing) and then in specific policies (we will remove benefits from those who can work but who do not). Clegg looked and sounded nervous, and it showed. He was battered on the Euro and immigration; and for benefit of LibDems out there, "old politics" is when you have a promise in your manifesto that you dump live on TV when you realise its unpopular and unworkable. However Clegg did better on domestic policies, such as education. Brown was again better, but he started from a low base; he needs to lose the stats rolling off like a soviet propaganda film and shouldn't ever smile when it isn't appropriate to do so! My favourite bit was actually Cameron's credo about education - the central role of the child and the importance of choice, standards, discipline and funding. That was, according to Mrs Little (who is a teacher herself), the moment he may just have won the election.
This morning we have been bombarded with calls and visits at the Campaign HQ from pleased Tories and also voters coming across to us for the first time. I have just got back from a session with out Mancroft team and the peopel I met whilst leafleting were very positive. The news from the other groups around the seat is very similar.
Mr Cameron - you have given us what we wanted. For the sake of our country we need to win this election. The Hung Parliament is Mr Brown's lifeline, with Mr Clegg throwing the lifejacket to him, so we must get an overall Tory majority. Conservatives, we've got 5 days to make this a reality - let's get to it!