Cameron: Talk of 'better times' rather than austerity

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption"What a difference a few days make": The BBC's Nick Robinson reports on the key points from David Cameron's speech

What a difference a few days make.

Gone were the warnings of more pain, more spending cuts, more austerity to come.

In their place a promise of better times ahead and a pledge of cuts of another kind - to working people's taxes.

David Cameron made a very personal plea today to be given not just another chance to serve but a Conservative majority to deliver a distinctly Tory manifesto - a promise not just of sound money and lower taxes but of a fight with Europe over immigration.

He claims to be able to cut the deficit and cut taxes by cutting government spending - just as the coalition have done these past four years.

All this and protecting the NHS at the same time.

Labour reply that the Tories' promise of balancing the books by 2015 is still at least three years away and debt is still rising. They accuse the Conservatives of making the sort of unfunded promises they used to condemn.

It is 217 days until polling day but the choice between the two biggest parties could now scarcely be clearer.

David Cameron and his party came to Birmingham fearing the worst - more defections and more divisions. They leave here believing they might just still be in with a chance.