Budget 2015: Osborne's message to voters

Chancellor George Osborne with his Treasury team outside 11 Downing Street Image copyright EPA

George Osborne's aim today was to turn the economic recovery of the country into the political recovery of the Conservatives.

So, he tried to reassure voters worried about another Tory-led government and convince them they'll benefit from the growing economy.

Worried about spending cuts? Fear not - austerity will end a year earlier than expected.

Depressed by living standards? No problem - you are better off now than you were in 2010.

Think you are missing out on the fruits of the recovery? Well, here are some tax cuts on your savings, your income, your first home.

The chancellor sprayed largesse far and wide - on drinkers and drivers, orchestras and air ambulances, churches and charities. So yes no massive giveaway, no massive rabbit, as some Tory MPs had wanted, but a glimpse of better things to come and the road - as Mr Osborne put it - from austerity to prosperity.

But the essential political argument hasn't changed.

Mr Osborne says Britain's on the right track - stick with the Tories. His opponents still speak of extreme spending cuts, and of a hubris that will go down poorly with voters still feeling the pinch.

The test is this: as a result of today, do more voters feel confident in voting Tory and are there enough to tip the balance in any marginal seats? In an election that looks set to be tight, even the slightest shift could make a difference.

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