After Nick Clegg's poll-busting performance at last week's leaders' debate threatens to split the country's vote and end up with a hung parliament, the Tories issue a warning that it could also cause economic meltdown in the UK.

In the Times David Cameron claims that a hung parliament would cause a sterling crisis and in the Express Ken Clarke says a hung parliament would unnerve the city causing the pound to plummet with an IMF bail out being the end result.

With all the canvassing, blogging, personal appearances and door-knocking going on, it has dawned on the parties that this election could be won or lost on the back of the three leaders' debates. It has now become a TV popularity contest between the three main men, a sort of 'Big Leader' or 'I'm a politician, get me into No 10'.

The trouble for the usual suspects of Brown and Cameron is that according to the media round one went to Nick Clegg. This has significantly increased the chances of a hung parliament. With the likelihood of some sort of LibDem / Labour cobbled together last minute deal, the Tories are fighting hard to ensure an outright victory.

The Tories message is that a strong government is what is needed to address the deep debt problems the UK faces. Ken Clarke recalled the "farce" of the days of Jim Callaghan's Lib-Lab pact of 1977-1978, which ended in an IMF bail-out and the Margaret Thatcher victory of 1979.

The other parties have called this pure 'scaremongering' by the Tories and Alistair Darling called it "pretty desperate stuff" while Vince Cable the LibDem Treasury spokesman said that "They are losing the election and they are beginning to panic."

What may be happening is that this election is turning back into a two horse race. Between the Conservatives and a LibDem / Lab pact.

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