Tories get personal about Miliband

Ed and David Miliband
Image caption The survey found many Labour voters regretting their choice of Miliband

So, here is the proof. For weeks now there have been nods and winks that the Conservatives were preparing an ad hominem assault on Ed Miliband. Today sees the first evidence: the release of private Tory polling that they claim will prove "devastating" reading for the Labour leader.

According to the Tory-commissioned Populus poll of more than 2,000 people online between 26 and 28 September, many Labour voters are less than impressed with Mr Miliband.

Surprise, surprise, it suggests that a majority of Labour voters do not find Mr Miliband prime ministerial, charismatic or a natural leader.

It also suggests that many Labour voters think they chose the wrong Miliband brother.

But, equally, a majority of Labour voters see Mr Miliband as strong and determined and willing to take tough but unpopular decisions. You pays your money, and you takes your choice.

The Tories will also publish a poster today, as their opponents gather in Manchester for their conference, saying Labour isn't learning - their claim being that Labour isn't learning from its past mistakes of borrowing too much money.

Three thoughts about this:

First, it reflects a hope among David Cameron's advisers that the media spotlight will now focus on Labour. They believe that the complicated politics of the coalition has crowded out scrutiny of Labour. They want that to end.

Second, it reflects the first sign of Downing Street trying to get onto the offensive after spending most of the year on the back foot, from the omnishambles Budget onwards.

Third, the interesting question is why the Tories have felt the need to get earthy and personal about Ed Miliband so early on in the political cycle.