Sure enough, it didn't take long for the UK's two big dinosaur parties – and the media – to react with fury to the unexpected Lib Dem surge.
We can but hope the curiously-proportioned bar graph and contradictory sets of figures are a biting satirical comment about the unreliability of opinion polls from Murdoch-controlled Sky News, but I fear that's a touch optimistic.
It's hard to pick out the best bit of anti-Lib-Dem hysteria that the media and other parties have managed to come up with at short notice since last week's debate caught them all on the hop. Is it the Labour election leaflet shrieking "CLEGG WILL GIVE PAEDOS THE VOTE!", perhaps?
Could it be the Mail's massive-overkill special on "THE GREAT LIBERAL DECEPTION", leading with the claim that the Lib Dems will release 60,000 criminals onto Britain's streets overnight? (The best bit being the fantastic "First, let's be clear that this newspaper has nothing against the Lib-Dems.")
Or what about The Sun's big scoop, which discovered that Clegg (idiotically) left his debate briefing notes on the back seat of a taxi, revealing – shockingly – that he's being advised to speak in a manner that resonates with voters and to try to focus the discussion away from Lib Dem policies that are thought to be less popular. The scandal!
Both the Mail and Sun go big on the horrors of a hung parliament. "The mayhem of proportional representation", panics the Mail, only to be resoundingly shouted down by reader comments overwhelmingly in favour of it, while the Sun slings around words like "chaos", "crisis" and "very dangerous" to refer to the prospect of a government that actually reflected the wishes of the electorate rather than just a small minority of it.
The parties themselves are falling to pieces too. The Tories have unveiled a desperate roll of the dice in the form of a poster demonising benefit claimants, which has been both satirically mocked and factually demolished within hours.
Exposing the lie of choice between the two big parties, Labour have enthusiastically jumped on the same bandwagon. In a Scottish debate shown on STV on Tuesday night, Labour's creepy, Skeletor-esqueScottish Secretary Jim Murphy was quizzed on where he'd find the huge savings necessary to reduce the national budget deficit.
The SNP representative had already offered his party's choice of cuts – the Trident replacement, ID cards and the House Of Lords would go if the SNP had its way, easily achieving billions of pounds in savings. Murphy, on the other hand, favoured recouping the City bankers' losses from the poorest and most vulnerable in society.
At 10.04 in the above debate, the Labour minister says that the only place to make these cuts is in "the cost of welfare", which the party plans to achieve by means the Scottish Secretary was unable to elaborate on (and which, we have to deduce, were somehow impossible to implement during the 13 years Labour has already been in power for, but can suddenly be done now), a miraculous achievement WoSblog viewers will already be familiar with.
Inspired by the bit of uncharacteristically-good investigative reporting by the BBC linked a few paragraphs above, I did a quick bit of calculating myself. Both Labour and the Conservatives are now committed to programmes which will punish the unemployed who "refuse" work. (Despite there being only 500,000 vacancies in the country, according to the government's own Office of National Statistics, for around 8,000,000 "economically inactive" people.)
A Jobseeker's Allowance claimant receives around £65 a week, which comes to about £3,400 a year. To save just the £1bn figure cited by the Tories as being lost to cheats, that would mean almost 300,000 recipients of the benefit – around one in five – were doing so fraudulently.
To achieve the £12bn of savings that is generally agreed to be the sum required for the next year, and which Murphy sees as being best retrieved from the welfare budget, we'd need to get a little over 3,500,000 people off JSA and into work, more than twice the number who are currently claiming the benefit. I'm sure we're all looking forward to Labour creating 3.5m jobs in the first year if Gordon Brown is back in No.10 on May 7th.
So the media are furiously preaching doom and gloom and catastrophe if we have a new government made up of MPs from more than one party, while the big two are ostensibly keeping their hands clean, instead promising us incredible miracles if only we elect them and them alone, at the expense of those damn poor who've brought the nation to its knees.
All bases covered, then. Crisis over. I'm sure the electorate will see sense and resume normal service any minute.