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Lacklustre PM pumped up the volume

David Cameron's campaign can be broken easily into two parts: pre-pumped and post-pumped.

The Prime Minister signalled his intent early on with a frantic day trip that took in every country in the United Kingdom.

But while no one could accuse the Tory leader of skimping on either the miles or effort, many complained his initial appearances were a bit lacklustre.

Critics said Mr Cameron looked like he was going through the motions as he toured industrial sites and offices, primarily in Liberal Democrat-held target seats, for a series of tightly-controlled photocalls.

But all that changed on Sunday, April 26. That is when a distinctly more animated premier stood up at the town hall in Yeovil and said Labour could stick its manifesto "where the sun don't shine".

Whatever his aides had put in his tea was still working the following morning, when Mr Cameron told a business audience in central London that he was "pumped up" and "bloody lively". The Chartered Institute of Accountants had never witnessed such excitement.

This new, improved, fist-clenching, from-the-gut PM soothed many of the concerns expressed by the Conservative faithful.

However, while the presentation had changed, the message on competent economic stewardship and the "chaos" of a potential Labour-SNP tie up remained constant.

So too did the safety-first campaign management, with Mr Cameron rarely exposed to interaction with unvetted voters - preferring instead town hall-style meetings at companies or rallies with activists in marginal seats.

Party strategists have voiced confidence that their warnings about the nationalist threat are cutting through.

But the polls have remained stubbornly deadlocked, and they admit that the contest will go right down to the wire.

Mr Cameron is thought to be sanguine, believing that they have fought the election in the best way they could.

He is also unrepentant about his refusal to sign up to more leaders' debates - arguing that the event in 2010 sucked the life out of the campaign.

It isn't long now until we find out what the electorate thought of the whole thing.


From Belfast Telegraph