James Forsyth

Osborne comes out fighting

Osborne comes out fighting
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George Osborne put in a fiery and impressive performance in the Chancellor’s debate today, firing off some memorable one-liners as well as unveiling a letter from the former head of the anti-avoidance group at the Treasury questioning the sums on which the Lib Dems’ tax plans depend. Indeed, since the Lib Dems surged, Osborne has found another level to his public performances. Today’s debate win followed a good spot by Osborne on the Politics Show on Sunday.  

One striking thing about the debate was how it was Darling who signaled the assault on Cable when he started querying Vince’s numbers. It’ll be fascinating to see if Brown takes any similar swipe at Clegg tomorrow; his interview in the Indyhttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brown-trains-his-sights-on-a-new-politics-ndash-with-the-help-of-the-lib-dems-1949585.html today suggests he won’t but I wonder how Brown personally feels about his current eclipsed status.

Vince Cable had a bit of a nightmare. Under questioning from Andrew Neil, he started blinking almost as fast as Ed Balls. He also sounded very shaky when he tried to defend describing quantitative easing as from the Robert Mugabe School of economics but then supported it.

Osborne’s performance raised Tory sprits and showed there’s a lot of fight left in the Tory campaign. Although I’m told we shouldn’t expect a similarly aggressive performance from David Cameron tomorrow.

PS: We've now added footage: