The audience came out buzzing, fired up even. In some ways that is beside the point, because it will not be excited hardcore Labourists that will win the election, although that is a good start, it will be voter perception and media narrative.
In the weeks running up to conference people on the doorstep said to me ‘I like Ed but I don’t know what he stands for.’ Not any more. No one can ignore the welcome pledge to repeal the Tories’ cruel bedroom tax. The energy price freeze and extended childcare commitments will be popular with people struggling with the cost of living. No longer can people say they do not know where the Labour party is coming from. Perception is changing.
And right-leaning newspapers are in a bind. Nick Cohen sums it up:
“That wrenching sound you can hear is the noise of the Tory columnists slamming their gears into reverse.”
Where once newspapers preferred to portray Ed as ineffectual and ignorable, now they suggest he is someone dangerous and to be feared. They can’t have it both ways. The narrative has shifted.
Ed done good.