UK Politics

Labour views: Ed Miliband's speech

How did new Labour leader Ed Miliband's first big conference speech go down with the party faithful?

SIMON BULLOUGH, EPPING FOREST

It was certainly what we wanted to hear. He came out as what we all asked him to be - the unity candidate. That is what all parts of the party are saying around the fringe. Whichever Miliband it was would have been the right Miliband because we are the most democratic party and we get behind our leader.

I am frightened that what Ed has said is going to be overshadowed in the media by one issue - Iraq. We do need to admit our mistakes, but there are more important issues than that.

GORDON MARSDEN, BLACKPOOL SOUTH MP

I thought it was a great speech. He stepped away from some of the technocratic language that has impaired our message and got our vision back. I think it will have struck a chord with people who are not completely focused on politics.

There was a lot about emotion, love and compassion, but he didn't overdo it. It wasn't schmaltzy. It was courageous to say he would vote yes to AV [the Alternative Vote system] and that we wouldn't oppose everything the coalition is doing, but he was strong on the economy.

TOM PAGE AND DAISY HARPER (David Miliband voters)

Daisy: I loved the optimism and the fighting spirit that was evident in his speech. It was a bit odd and interesting what Ed said in his speech in comparison with the manifesto for the general election, particularly as he wrote it.

Tom: I thought it was bit rambling. I thought it had a good fighting spirit, but I think David Miliband would have delivered a different speech. I think it would have been more about the future. I think Ed's speech was far too much about the past.

MARGARET DAVINE, HARROW

I thought it was tremendous and inspiring and will, I hope, get us all going. I thought it was very sincere. There are a lot of us who feel that we didn't get everything right. When he talked about how Labour had become separate from the community it struck a chord.

I think listening to people is the most important thing in a really great leader and I hope he doesn't veer away from that. I just hope he stays like he is today and leads us from the front.

HUGH DAVID, OGMORE

I thought it was excellent. I thought Ed made the best speech he could have made. It was inspirational and he said all the right things about staying on the centre ground of British politics.

He recognised the many achievements of the last Labour government, but also where we went wrong. I am sure the party will unite behind him because of the speech he has made today.

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