In the gloom of an almost funereal conference centre in Brighton, there appeared to be a marked change in tone.
Initially, even when the grassroots did agree with him, it appeared they did so in a more muted way than in the past. Those who disagreed with Nick were more vocal.
As Nick Clegg Says I'm Sorry, the spoof pop song of his tuition fees video apology, entered the singles chart, the issue dominated the start of the question-and-answer session.
Activists wanted to know why the LibDems had gone back on the pledge, and at one point it looked as if the session would be overwhelmed by the issue. Mr Clegg joked "phew" when the chairman said he would take a question on a different subject.
His joy was shortlived, however, as he was told that it was only a temporary blip to deal with a technical issue and the subject would most certainly be returned to.
It was not the only issue on which he faced difficult questions. He was accused of not having read the so-called "snoopers' charter" communications bill, which the party opposed after a grassroots revolt.
But there were the usual soft questions as well, and one delegate even gave him a "thank you" for suggesting he would agree to freeze only some benefits and not all.
The biggest round of applause came as the leader revealed he was celebrating his 12th wedding anniversary Some people, it appears, still agree with Nick after all.