David-Blackburn

Best and worst of the campaign: Nick Clegg

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Clegg's best moment: the first TV debate

No one could have predicted that 90 minutes of television would have such an impact. But this election has been dominated by the strange re-birth of Liberalism, engendered by Nick Clegg's performance in the first TV debate. Television is a medium determined by empathy. Clegg embodied the frustration and contempt that many voters feel for the two established parties, and he expressed his alternative vision with ease and clarity in contrast to Cameron and Brown's garbled debate. The nation swooned.

Honourable mention: being the first leader to undergo a Paxman interview.

Clegg's worst moment: the immigration question in the third TV debate

Before we reached the immgration question in the third TV debate, it was all going to plan for Nick Clegg.  He had managed to keep his distance from a bloody scrap between Brown and Cameron, and stuck by the same script which had given his party a ten point boost in the polls.  But then it came to defending his amnesty policy for illegal immigrants, and all he could come up with was a fistful of obfuscations.  "Shadows of the economy," he croaked, before pointing with scattershot urgency at "nasty criminal gangs."  Regardless of the policy behind the rhetoric, it just didn't sound convincing - and Clegg soon wobbled over the edge by mixing up his statistics.  A vignette, perhaps, of what can happen when Lib Dem policies are dragged under the spotlight.

Honourable mention: the Lib Dem's limp campaign launch.