Of the three party leaders, prehaps four if we accept UKIPs predicted success in the Euro elections will be realised Nick Clegg has been the most effective leader.
Now, hold on..Just think about it. A party leader 's job is to lead. And Clegg has led his party.Possibly to oblivion but that is beside the point. The deputy PM has taken his party pretty much to where he wanted it to be. Can the others make such a claim?
Cameron has moved further right than he intended.. He has made enemies of public sector workers he once tried to make allies. UKIP are a permanent threat so he is forced further right than he would voluntarily sail.
And he is forced by his own party. For a Tory government there haven't been as many squabbles and tantrums in the top ranks as usual. Partly this is coalition. Partly there are just less big ego Hezza's and Tebba's about. And the whole austerity vibe discourages grandstanding.
But however its looked at 'the greenest government' ever isn't standing on the space it intended to.
The Miliband shambles of an opposition had no real clue how to market itself after the 2010 wipeout.
But it gained confidence among the riots and protests of 2011 and decided that it didn't really need to do much to be carried back into power on the backs of 'anyone but Dave' protest votes.
Since then the Miliband party has had one or two strategic successes but a lot of tactical defeats and the recent better economic news and the same UKIP surge is pushing the welfare party onto territory that they neither recognise, understand nor enjoy. Ed is not standing on his mark either.
And Nigel too has had to face petty scrutiny for every oddball and racist in his ranks and has quite often been forced to defend areas he would rather not have to. UKIP are in a much more comfortable position than the main parties, but even they can't sit back and talk about Europe and nothing else.
So. Clegg. The winner of the political debates who gained much media attention but no seats for that victory
He had the most difficult job of all. He had to lead his happy little band of peaceniks, eco-warriors, fox cuddlers and academics into government. Not just any government. A government with their sworn enemies.
And .. even worse ..Nick had to reveal that the central theme of his manifesto was a big fat lie. That despite promising NO tuition fees, there would in fact be lots of tuition fees.
Then he lost his ablest minister, David Laws, just a few weeks into office. And then the bad economic news kept coming. And the cuts fell onto Liberal areas. Libraries, Arts, justice, local government. He had to defend all that. And a VAT hike. Something he had campaigned against. His own rival for the leadership was imprisoned leaving him with a difficult by-election and the Hancock spy story emerged and his old rival Vince Cable is forever on his rather ineffectual maneuverings. The Proportional Representation vote was a disaster for the Libs. Their reasons for being in a difficult government were disappearing.
In reality Mr Clegg should have been forced from office within months by scandal, lies, U-turns and a torch carrying mob of angry sandal clad, caftan wearing teachers.
But he wasn't. And the Liberals, despite numerous wobbles and hissy fits, have held up remarkably well within themselves. Their party conferences have MORE unity than usual. the extreme , barmy tendency has been quiet. Liberal voters might have fled, but the Liberal party has remained solid. Well as solid as a party with less spine than a gelatin preserve can be.
Even with the latest groping scandals and threats to sue everyone involved, the story still has the lid on. The feminine wing of the Lib Dems should be being expected to bellow at the outrage inflicted on whatever the yellow equivalent of the sisterhood is by their male powerlords. I'm sure they are. But whatever is going on is behind the curtain. Which is to the credit of Clegg.
The man with the wobbliest party and the flimsiest manifesto and the least reason for being there at all, has managed to keep his show on the road.
I doubt many others could have done it as well.