Ed Miliband will roam the stage as he delivers his leader’s speech. With negative polls about whether voters can see him as Prime Minister been giving prominent play in the papers, the stakes for this speech have been raised.
I suspect that the speech will be better delivered than last year’s—Miliband is far more comfortable when he is not behind a podium—and more tightly written. Judging by what has been briefed out in advance, we know that it also contains more concrete policies.
But I expect that the speech will still set off quite the political bun fight. The Tory strategy for the next election campaign requires them to, in effect, disqualify Miliband as a potential Prime Minister. Also in this anti-politics age, it is risky for any politician to talk in personal terms about their background.
One senior Tory I spoke to this evening was convinced that the Miliband PPB emphasising his comprehensive school roots was a strategic error. Expect to hear a lot about how much Miliband inherited from his father, his political connections and the cost of his current home.
Now, I know that the Miliband team stress that the message they are trying to send out is not that Miliband has an up by the bootstraps life story but that being at school with children of all abilities and backgrounds gave him a particular perspective on life. But whenever class enters into British political debate, things tend to become polarised very fast.Tags: Ed Miliband, Labour conference, Labour conference 2012