Nick Wood is former Head of Communications for the Conservative Party and now runs Media Intelligence Partners.
David Cameron's historic pledge of a referendum on the terms of Britain's membership of the European Union in 2017 has not paid the political dividends he would have hoped.
The viscerally anti-EU UKIP comfortably beat the Tories in the Eastleigh by-election and one of this weekend's polls had it luxuriating on 17 per cent. The county council elections, where UKIP are fielding candidates in most of the wards, are likely to end with another bloody nose for the Prime Minister and the increasingly threadbare defence that mid-term setbacks are inevitable.
The summer of 2014 offers the anti-Europeans an even better opportunity. Most observers now expect Nigel Farage's choleric revolutionaries to either top the poll or come a close second to one of the major parties.