Is Ed Miliband a lefty, or isn’t he? That’s the big question occupying anyone who isn’t trying to sleep off Labour conference before the next political brouhaha begins in Manchester on Sunday. But since the Labour leader appeared to abandon the centre ground and back his own instincts, little has been written about the effect this will have on the Tories’ electoral positioning. James argued yesterday that Ed Miliband had done politics a favour by making the 2015 election about competing philosophies. Does this mean the Tories can move to the right too?
The answer to that question, is, I’m told by Number 10 sources, very much no. The Conservatives will be ‘absolutely clear’ at their conference that while Miliband can lurch, veer or dive to the left all he wants, they are not shifting from the centre ground. This might disappoint some Tory MPs, but Number 10 believes that even if the Labour leader is being brave by being honest about what he thinks is right, voters haven’t rewarded moves away from the centre for decades now.