David Cameron was in the City this morning, trying to convince small business owners he's on their side, and trying to convince the broader electorate he's passionate about what his party has to offer.
The PM has been under pressure in recent days for not showing enough fire on the campaign trail, as the polls fail to show a long-awaited Conservative breakthrough.
This morning, though, he bounded in, told the audience he was “pumped up” by the small businesses around him, and that the issues at stake at this election were getting him very excited indeed.
“If I’m getting lively about this, it’s because I feel bloody lively,” he bellowed.
In particular, Cameron continued to highlight the perceived risk of the Scottish National Party (SNP) having a growing influence in Westminster, alongside Labour, and the risk to the economy he thinks that would bring.
Critics will argue that it’s all too little, too late. That underestimates two things though.
Firstly, by most accounts, the SNP attack line is cutting through on the doorsteps.
Secondly, it ignores how much people value Cameron’s calmness, leadership, and the Prime Ministerial X-Factor that polls almost always show is associated with him.
Yes, people do want to see a bit of passion, and getting “bloody lively” once in a while is no bad thing. After all, we want to see the PM believes in something. But people also want to see some leadership and continuity in what remain difficult times for many.
It was notable, for instance, that Cameron twice referred to he and George Osborne “being back at work on 8 May”.
For the Conservatives the core message must remain one of economic competence laying the foundations for a stronger society. To deviate from that now, however much passion it’s done with, would surely only lead to defeat.