Ed Miliband's test: To be seen as a possible PM


Close your eyes. Think very hard. I want you to imagine something.

You're looking at the most famous black door in the world. It's May 2015 - the day after the next election. The man standing on the step is Ed Miliband.

Now, how do you feel?

The answer of many - though probably not readers of this blog - will be "Who?" We politics obsessives forget that many voters simply have no idea who the Labour leader is, let alone have an opinion of him.

The reply of some will be - "Not that (insert appropriate TV bleep here)..." Yesterday my colleague James Landale vox popped the good people of Manchester to ask them what they thought of Ed M. "He's a [bleep]," said one. The fearless Landale pressed on: "But do you know who he is?" "He's that Tory", came the reply. James gently pointed out that he was, in fact, the Labour leader. "Well," came the unapologetic reply, "he's still a [bleep]".

Others will remember hazily that he's that bloke who beat his brother and is said to be a bit of a nerd.

Today Ed Miliband will address all three groups of non-political cognoscenti and try to help them picture him on that doorstep a little more favourably.

He wants them to know that he is not the same as "that Tory". He wants them to understand that as the son of Jewish immigrants and someone who went to the local comprehensive he was not born to rule, did not go to public school and wants to be prime minister because of his values and beliefs rather than because, as David Cameron once said of himself, "he'd be good at it".

His aim is to show that he is the one who can make the slogan "we're all in it together" meaningful by pledging to use the power of government to stand up to vested interests - banks, energy, pension and rail companies - as well as harnessing the Olympic spirit of working together to repair Britain.

There are another two Labour Conferences before the next election. The test of this speech is in many ways a modest one. If you're not a natural Labour supporter and close your eyes and think "Maybe" and not "Who?" or "That [bleep]" or "Isn't he the Tory?", it will have been a success.

Nick Robinson Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this

    Comment number 104.

    Sorry, but I just can't see Miliband as PM material. On a simplistic level, he comes across as being cheesy, arrogant, obnoxious, envious, weak.

  • rate this

    Comment number 103.

    Has a conserfativ myself I dont think that Edward is goant to be good for us that like to keep our taxis in our pockits and dont like foriners from other countys. You can say wot you like about daved cameron but he has dun a grate job in rearranging the NHS from the top down just like he promise in his mannifesta !

  • rate this

    Comment number 102.

    In his speech, Ed Miliband asked "Have you ever seen a more incompetent,hopeless, out-of-touch,u-turning, etc etc miserable shower than this PM and his government?" Why does no-one (eg Nick Robinson!) counter this by saying "Well, yes, Ed. Actually we have - the last Labour Government under Gordon Brown of which you were a member". ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 101.

    I was surprised how good some areas of his rhetoric was but it gnaws at the back of my mind the trouble the reds got this country into - socialism is very expensive (as I believe Gordon Brown once stated). I wish they would do away with this one nation nonsense and focus on individuality as we are all individuals - go down that route and I may bother to vote. One swallow does not make a summer .

  • rate this

    Comment number 100.

    I have no problem with "nerd". I have problem with: "We are all in this this together." when Ed keeps seperating himself - son of Jewish immigrants, wants to be PM because of his values & beliefs. He'll use Govermental power to stand up to vested interests - banks, energy, pension & rail companies. How, - by harnessing the Olympic spirit? Eddie you will have to do better; Disraeli you are not.


Comments 5 of 104


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