The next time these three are in a room together it'll be the next session of parliament and one of them will be launching a solo career.
Nick Griffin may be the one invoking the spirit of Winston Churchill in his BNP broadcasts, but if these debates are anything to go by, the three main party leaders are the ones following his advice. "When you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever," Churchill said once. "Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack."
Thus we had a first debate that, while shimmering with novelty, "I agree with Nick" mantras and badly applied Fake Bake, did little other than allow them to trot out long paragraphs from their manifestos and alert the country to the fact that Nick Clegg could string together a coherent sentence. No matter, I remember thinking, we've got two more debates to get down to the policy nitty-gritty, see them defend their corners and have a proper spar with each other, just like they do in the Ukrainian parliament.
But debate number two was a real let down – like one of those terrible B-side singles that should never have been allowed out of the recording studio. Its major problem was that in a debate about foreign policy, there was barely any discussion about, well, foreign policy. Ten minutes agreeing that it's a jolly good thing that the Pope is coming to town is not, frankly, good use of a thrice in four yearly event.
Neither is swapping embarrassing "I've been to Afghanistan" anecdotes when they should have been discussing long-term care for the 9,000 soldiers currently fighting there. And then we were back to domestic issues – most of which had already discussed in the first debate – and failing, remarkably, to add anything new. Perhaps it is this that makes me so despondent about this final debate about the economy. Will any of them get close to actually discussing the economy?
Every voter has his or her own hot button election issues, certain things that they have a personal interest in, pay close attention to and that may go as far as to swing their final vote. Few of us receive the sort of one-to-one attention bestowed upon Gillian Duffy by Gordon Brown yesterday. For most, these debates are as close as we'll get. And given that, we want to feel these guys are talking directly to us, not just barking out the latest line of soundbite-friendly guff whispered in their ear by an aide as they trot on stage.
So far – and I suspect I am not alone in this feeling – the debates have yet to address any of my hot button issues. I wanted to see David Cameron challenged on his absurd tax breaks for married couples; Clegg pushed to lay out why he thinks 64-year-olds shouldn't receive the Winter Heating Allowance; Brown forced to explain why war veterans do not receive the financial support they so desperately deserve. I haven't seen any of these issues addressed yet, and whatever your hot buttons, I suspect they haven't been pressed either.
Clegg said yesterday he believes the public will be "listening hardest" to this final debate. I agree. So for goodness' sake boys give us something to listen to, or I'll be the one giving the television a Churchill-style "tremendous whack".