David Cameron
Cameron has kicked off EU elections

Anyone who has not yet spotted that Britain is being run by a zombie government with nothing to do but engage in a year-long election campaign need only wait until the Easter break is over.

Once the prime minister has returned from his Canary Islands holiday and Ed Miliband ends his Easter break, including a visit to Israel, things will really heat up.

Not in the sense of parliamentary business, however. There is such little legislation for MPs to deal with that they are planning even more holidays for Whitsun and before the Queen's Speech which will set out the programme for the final year before the general election.

That speech, on 4 June, should be a blessed relief to the Queen as it is not expected to take up much of her time, although one suggestion that it might be as short as a ministerial resignation statement are probably wide of the mark.

When it comes to standing up for Britain in Europe, is there anyone you would trust less than a group of Ukip MEPs?
- David Cameron

Ministers have been scrabbling around to try to find things to put in the government's programme for next year with fox hunting, the EU referendum and, thanks to Maria Miller, recall of MPs all likely to be included. It is all, frankly, irrelevant.

The truth is, barring George Osborne's final Autumn Statement and spring Budget - election events in their own rights - government business will be a sideshow to the big events of the local council and EU elections on 22 May, the Scottish independence referendum on 18 September and the general election on 7 May, 2015.

The first taste of the year of polls came when Cameron launched the Tories' EU and local council election campaign earlier this week. It was widely overlooked because of the fallout from the Maria Miller resignation and the end of the Nigel Evans court case.

But the tenor of the speech given by the prime minister gave the game away and graphically displayed what is keeping him awake at night.

Branding both the Liberal Democrats and Ukip "extremists" he said: "When it comes to standing up for Britain in Europe, is there anyone you would trust less than a group of Ukip MEPs?

"They talk the talk in Britain, but as soon as they're on that plane to Brussels they change completely. When they do actually bother to vote, they don't stand up for Britain. Indeed their own leader has said they cannot change a thing in Brussels," he said.

To many, it sounded like a cry for help. The threat from Nigel Farage's party has grown as a direct result of both the Miller affair, which has further boosted anti-politics sentiments, and the disastrous Farage-Clegg TV debates which saw the deputy prime minister trounced as Farage fully exploited the unprecedented platform it offered him.

And latest opinion polls not only continue to suggest Ukip is heading for victory in May but might actually manage what everyone had been dismissing, and keep up the momentum through to the general election. A couple more expenses scandals should ensure that.

And that really would put the cat among the pigeons by boosting chances of another hung parliament, just as Labour and the Tories are losing what little appetite they already have for any post-poll deals with the Liberal Democrats.

Miliband is not much better off than Cameron. He might be able to avoid too much of a backlash after a poor EU and local election results (although Labour should do well in the council elections) as the focus turns on to the Tories.

But he also now knows Ukip is after his supporters as well. And he still has not fully recovered from Osborne's vote-winning Budget or answered the calls from his own MPs to map out a radical policy agenda.

And then there is the Scottish referendum, which has the potential to throw everything else into complete chaos.

As it draws nearer, the "No" campaign's nervousness has grown and talk of the separatists winning the day is no longer dismissed.

Should that happen the consequences are immense. Just for starters, no one knows whether the 2015 general election could go ahead with Scottish candidates standing for the Westminster parliament for a full term even though, 18 months in, they would no longer have Scottish seats to represent.

It is going to be one heck of a 12 months. If you like elections, that is.