An opportunity for Gordon Brown?
RCN Conference, Bournemouth: It's the unplanned moments in elections that can bring them alive. A punch, a heckle, or a slow handclap. "You guys are looking for someone to throw an egg," the PM said to reporters who asked him whether he really intended to meet and greet more real people in this campaign.
Mr Brown will be hoping that today's spontaneous standing ovation at a nurses' conference could help him in the way that an egg may have harmed him. It was unplanned, it did seem sincere and it followed a passionate speech in which the prime minister thanked the nurses and praised them as "angels in uniform" and "the country's heroes".
It helped, too, that he promised to protect their pensions, to avoid a pay freeze and to increase NHS spending - something that is not entirely spelled out in Labour's manifesto.
Labour was written off before this campaign began, and being consigned to third in the opinion polls behind the Liberal Democrats has made that problem worse. There is, though, at the start of this week, an opportunity for the party as well as a huge problem.
As David Cameron and Nick Clegg get tied up in questions about hung Parliaments, electoral reform and post-election deals, Gordon Brown can talk about what matters to people beyond the Westminster bubble. The PM insisted, not entirely convincingly, that he is "not worried at all" by "rumours, speculation, innuendo and gossip" about the consequences of a Labour's current poll rating.
The PM believes that if people focus on the choice as he sees it - a £6bn Tory cut in public spending this year versus maintaining spending to keep the economy growing and protect public services - he can still win.
One problem he will have to overcome is questions about his own spending plans. The Royal College of Nursing is warning that the government's planned efficiency savings could cut more than 30,000 health-service posts in the next three years and its president says it is "disingenuous" to deny it.