Sunday, 7 October 2012

What a difference a week makes

In an era in which party conferences are supposedly of diminishing importance, Ed Milband's speech was perhaps the exception that proves the rule. This morning's YouGov poll has Labour maintaining a post-conference 14 point lead over the Conservatives, with a 45% vote share. This is small but significant shift compared to immediately before the Labour conference. Most notably, Ed Miliband's personal ratings are well up, and now approaching positive territory after many months in the doldrums.

This is mirrored in a poll by Survation, which found the number of people seeing Miliband as 'statesmanlike' almost doubling since last week (albeit from a low base). At the same time, Opinium has shown Labour maintaining (or possibly slightly increasing) its double-digit lead over the Tory Party.

Although much of the increase in Miliband's personal ratings are from Labour-supporting respondents, this isn't a bad thing at all for the opposition leader. Until recently, one of his underlying weaknesses has been the fact that many Labour supporters expressed unease about his leadership. Rallying these voters around him means that he may well have strengthened the Labour vote itself, avoiding a potential melting away of the vote as the election nears.

One of the most striking things about the speech, though, was the effect on the commentariat - and notably the fact that it won plaudits from everyone from the trade unions to the Spectator. Below are some of the many post-speech pieces that have all but ensured that Ed is now the safest of the three party leaders.

Ed Miliband’s speech verdict: a resounding success (Spectator)

Ed Miliband has just pulled off something that few politicians achieve (Daily Mail)

Ed Miliband takes a lesson in belief from Tony Blair (Telegraph)

Ed Miliband's breathtaking bravura and a One Nation stroke of genius (Guardian)

Today he gave an outstanding speech, without notes or text, a performance that was assured and confident, engaging and near-faultlessly delivered (BBC)

The most confident and fluent speech of his leadership (Daily Mail)

Ed Miliband's One Nation claim is cheeky, but David Cameron has a fight on his hands (Telegraph)

Five thoughts on Ed Miliband's speech of his life (Liberal Conspiracy)

Ed’s speech owes as much to Danny Boyle as it does to Disraeli (Political Betting)

Ed Miliband stole the Tories’ One Nation mantle today in a barnstorming speech without notes (Standard)

A triumph for Ed: the best leader’s speech ever? (Left Futures)

So much for the Tories’ 'secret weapon’ (Telegraph)

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