IT’S all getting rather complicated now.

The seven-strong UK leaders’ debate on ITV last week was swiftly followed by a four-strong Scottish leaders’ debate on STV and another panel with a larger line-up on BBC Scotland. Typical, isn’t it? You wait for one showdown between party leaders – and then three of them come along at once.

But the plethora of debates isn’t bringing much clarity – quite the opposite.

Nicola Sturgeon was judged the viewers’ favourite after the ITV leaders’ debate last week – even though she isn’t standing in the General Election herself and her party can never be in the awkward position of forming a UK Government. How does that work? The Greens were excluded from the debate by STV on advice from Ofcom but included by BBC Scotland who presumably use the same guidelines. Who’s right? The ITV debate tackled subjects relevant to a UK election – austerity, immigration, the scope of devolution, the fate of the House of Lords, Trident and equality– but the STV debate focused, confusingly, on devolved issues like the health service, policing, free prescriptions – none of which are directly controlled by Westminster. Perhaps opposition politicians think attacking the SNP’s record in government is the only way to cut their apparently unassailable lead. Except that record in government has been at Holyrood – fairly irrelevant in a Westminster election.

UK politics has been a topsy-turvy world for Scots since the advent of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. Now, stuck between the indyref and the General Election, between gutsy “movement” politics and weary Westminster, between choice-limiting first-past-the post and proportional representation, between a London world where innovation is wearing a silver tie and Scotland where innovation nearly created a new country, Scottish voter feels like Alice in Wonderland. Bemused, betwixt and between.

Is that because manifestos haven’t been published yet? Well it doesn’t help for the cart to be so far in front of the horse. But manifestos are usually just confirmations of what voters already expect.

No, the confusion over the 2015 General Election arises from interaction between two formerly separate and mutually disregarding realms. Once upon a time there was one way to vote for Westminster and another for Holyrood. Once the SNP were bit players in London even when they were kings of the heap in Scotland. Once Scottish First Ministers could depend on complete indifference from the London establishment and no challenge in their own domain by London-based politicians like Jim Murphy.

Once upon a time has been and gone.

It’s a bit like Coronation Street actors wandering into the set of Albert Square. There’s a common language and behaviour but important reference points are still very, very different. The whole effect is vaguely unsettling – or exciting depending on your point of view.

The London-based press is speechless with excitement that the Scots may yet swing into this dull election campaign like elegant tartan-clad suffragettes bringing raw clout and womanly guile to the tedious and gentlemanly business of carving up political power. But while the Mail dubs Nicola Sturgeon the most dangerous woman in Britain and the Telegraph pays her the back-handed compliment of a half-hearted smear, the Scottish press is apparently quite bored by the whole thing and the recent STV debate in particular.

We could soon be in the strange situation of “Queen Nicola” being mobbed by wannabe English supporters when she next visits London – while in her own domain, she and the General Election somehow fail to excite.

Now, of course, I exaggerate for effect. Ms Sturgeon’s performances north of the Border have been sharper and more inspiring than any of her peers. But the SNP leader is the victim of her own success. With crowds of 12,000 during her sell-out stadium tour and two years of non-stop armed combat during the referendum campaign, Nicola has reached the giddy heights of popularity and critical acclaim very fast. Now – despite probably being more than a bit tired –she needs to raise her game still further.

I’d like to see her really getting stuck into the failings of the Westminster system and actively lead on radical ideas like abolishing the absurd House of Lords – the largest unelected chamber in the world outside China. Nicola also needs to create a powerful vision of the society she aims to create and not get bogged down in cynical game-playing talk of pacts and deals. If she can’t raise the game beyond the grubby carve-up of power during this campaign– who will?

And of course Nicola needs a better answer to the second independence referendum question – lest it grows arms and legs to resemble the vexed shared-pound conundrum.

Without a bit more zest the rest of this General Election north of the Border will resemble a limp and over-long version of First Minister’s Questions – and that matters because a lacklustre, boring debate only damages the case for Scottish independence. If we can’t make our own politics electrifying (especially when the whole UK is watching) some folk will wonder if there is enough talent, energy and smeddum to justify statehood. That wobble may not be felt at the ballot box on May 7 but beyond. And mercifully, beyond draws closer every day.