At a time when the Prime Minister is under intense pressure over Europe, the British government is facing a heavy surcharge.
Trailing to Ukip on immigration and to Labour on the NHS, the Conservatives' best hope may be an economic slowdown that persuades voters the storm has not passed.
Ukip may have contaminated the eurosceptic brand, but there are other factors at play.
The Labour leader repelled Cameron's assault by declaring: "Instead of smearing the NHS in Wales, he should be saving the NHS in England".
The Prime Minister is wrong, morally and politically, to seek an even tougher policy on immigration in an attempt to respond to the Ukip threat.
The PM was forced to condemn his welfare minister for saying that disabled people may not be worth the "full wage".
The Prime Minister is proposing an intervention to save failing schools.
The Conservatives' brand weakness means they may struggle to reach the level needed to be the largest party.
Analysing the body politic.
In the age of austerity and Ukip, the Conservatives' advantage on leadership and the economy may not be enough to deliver them victory.