Having apparently weathering a brief but powerful storm over his leadership qualities during the UK’s summer floods, David Cameron was probably hoping to make some significant headway during the current lull.

But he looks like he’s run aground again as he attempts to start hauling in Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s lead in the opinion polls.

The Conservative leader has this week turned his attention to health, always a major political battlegound, in his attempt to discredit a decade of Labour policies.

Yet, rather than being fed questions to help turn the screw on the Government, Mr Cameron spent most his time having to justify his own claims about the current state of the NHS.

He has now turned his attention to another current political football – youth crime.

However, his “three-dimensional ” solution is not exactly the radical and bold set of initiatives most commentators – even Government insiders – acknowledge is required to tackle this particular issue.

Few had expected Gordon Brown to surge so far ahead after he finally succeeded Tony Blair as Prime Minister.

But a combination of solid leadership in the wake of various crises – from terrorism to flooding – an indication that he won’t follow Blair’s lead on our so-called special relationship with the US and a fairly inept display by David Cameron so far, means that Mr Brown is currently a lot more comfortable than he probably deserves to feel.

If the Prime Minister does call a snap General Election in the autumn, then the Conservatives are faced with the prospect of another poll defeat and another bout of navel-gazing.

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