Nick Clegg admits some of the decisions he has taken as part of the Coalition have been tough, but he backs the Government's overall aims.
Since the deal with David Cameron and the U-turn on tuition fees in England, the LibDems' popularity in Scotland has nose-dived.
In 2011 the number of MSPs was slashed to just five, with none in Glasgow.
The next year, the council elections returned just one LibDem in Glasgow.
Mr Clegg said he wants voters to judge his party on what they said they would do in Coalition, not what they promised before the election.
He claimed the policies the LibDems have secured in Government have helped people in Glasgow, pointing to action on enterprise and taking more low paid people out of paying income tax.
He said: "We can increase confidence in the economy generally, which will help investment.
"There are entrenched problems in great cities like Glasgow, where there has been a long painful transition from an over reliance on the public sector and before that heavy industry.
"People in Glasgow have been working hard to do that and there are signs of success.
"Catapult Centres on renewables show there is a real buzz around the potential to create jobs."
Two of the Government's Catapult Centres are to be based in the city, with Strathclyde University playing a key role.
The £50m Offshore Renewable energy catapult has its HQ at the university, and the £140m High Value Manufacturing Catapult also has a city presence.
Mr Clegg added: "It is difficult for those who can't find work, but the only way forward is by building a stronger economy and spread your bets and not rely on one industry or the public sector, and Glasgow is doing that.
"We have to play our part as well. For those in work we are seeing them pay less in tax through reforming the tax and welfare system."
On welfare he recognised the 'bedroom tax' is causing hardships, but, as part of an overall policy agenda he backed it.
He said: "Some of the decisions I don't relish at all, but I strongly support the central purpose of the reforms, which is making work pay.
"I am a strong supporter of the benefits cap of £25,000.
"I am acutely aware some reforms, notably the spare room subsidy, have attracted controversy.
"It has happened before, under a previous government in the private rental sector.
"There is a problem around the availability of housing, we have two million people waiting for a suitable home and we need to make it fair.
"We have given money in Discretionary Housing Payments for councils to help those affected."
As well as the £3m allocated to Glasgow in DHP, Mr Clegg said the council was given an extra £200,000 and can apply to an additional fund of £20m announced by the UK Government.
Mr Clegg said he is looking forward to the conference in Glasgow, and returning north again next year as Scotland prepares to vote on independence.
He said: "It's a great place to hold a conference, it's a great city. It is a special year ahead with the Commonwealth Games and First World War commemorative events.
"We were very keen to work with the organisers in Glasgow to put on a good conference. We have done it previously, where we returned for a second yeart. It suits delegates as well as they get used to the venue and city.
"It is timely as well with the huge debate in the coming year. We have a clear view which is in line with the majority of public opinion in Scotland that we want more devolution and power for the Scottish Parliament, but within the family of nations and not with the uncertainty that severing those ties would involve."
He said Glasgow City Council has estimated the conference will be worth £12m to the city's hotel and hospitality trade.
Mr Clegg has been criticised for joining the Coalition and abandoning some key LibDem policies, and has suffered at the ballot box since.
However he said it was the right thing to do - he would do the same again.
He said: "Voters will judge us by what we said we would do going into coalition government and what we have done.
"We stepped up to the plate. I felt it was right to set aside differences for the good of the country and do the difficult work to clear up the mess left behind by Labour.
"For the last three years I have been told we made a mistake, but confidence is coming back to the economy. We can't be complacent but signs are good.
"What we did was follow the instructions of the voters.
"There was no mathematical majority for a Labour/LibDem coalition. The Conservatives won the most seats.
"We have got to be democrats before anything else."