Labour views: Is Ed Miliband PM material?
- 3 October 2012
- From the section UK Politics
Before the Labour conference lots of people were asking whether Ed Miliband has what it takes to be a prime minister, with polls showing he is less popular than his party. Do Labour members feel he's managed to silence his critics after his big speech?
Jon Wilson, Greenwich and Woolwich
"Ed was seen as nice, geeky and a bit weak. He wasn't geeky in the speech. There was a real strength about the story he is telling. Labour uniting as opposed to Tory divisions, I think, is really powerful… The reason it worked is because it was authentic. He wasn't trying to be someone else. He was the Ed Miliband who everyone in the Labour Party knows from drinking in the bar until three in the morning. Which we have wanted to see. The person who goes home from the party last because he has been having interesting conversations with random delegates."
Cllr Tom Williams, Stroud
"I think quite a lot of people are saying it's a big step forward for him but I don't think we've seen the finished article. We've got a couple of years to go until the next general election and I think he's going there fast. If we think back to Cameron's early days, and even to Margaret Thatcher's early days, they came in for a lot of criticism for not being up to it, for being rather weak and woolly characters. They changed and people do grow into the job. With more exposure in the media you'll see him grow fully into the role. I think he is far more 'one of us' than the Tories have ever managed to be while wandering around talking about 'we're all in this together'. He represents a very broad cross-section of the population in a way that this Tory cabinet does not and can't even pretend to."
Ian Campbell, Bassetlaw
"I was getting very disappointed with Ed. I just didn't seen anything coming from him, no policies. I didn't know anything about him really. And from this speech I am so invigorated now to go out and campaign and make sure he gets in 2015… I think he is now coming across well to the public. More people know more about him. You need a prime minister like Tony Blair, like Gordon Brown. Somebody who looks like a prime minister, who acts like a prime minister and has the policies and the backing of members to be a prime minister. Ed has not got there yet but that speech puts him well on the way to getting there."
Carol Sung, Liverpool West Derby
"It's rubbish to say he's not prime ministerial. I know absolutely this conference has changed how people see him. A few of my own members have been quite reluctant and lukewarm and say the wrong brother won. I voted for David but within a very short time I was convinced with Ed and yesterday showed I was absolutely right. I feel vindicated over the last couple of years. What he said last year I liked and I got in to, but not everybody did. But this time it's much more positive. People are much more pleased."
Cllr Nana Asante, Harrow
"He's prime ministerial enough for me anyway. It's the fact that he is down to earth and he's real and talks to the people and he cares about the people. In the long run that will come across. From the speech yesterday I'm getting friends texting me and saying 'he did the business' and I think that shows he did a good job."
Cllr Terry Jermy, South West Norfolk
"I think this speech has showed he's a confident person and prepared to be his own person. From watching him on stage with no lectern he was able to command the audience and be very confident about it. He's not been leader very long and I'd never seen him speak live, so it was really interesting for me to be there and watch that and see him growing into the role. I think he was there saying 'These are my ideas, I'll take on everybody's views but I'm prepared to lead'. It shows he's got what it takes."
Cllr Simon Greaves, Bassetlaw
"I've met Ed a couple of times and I've never met a more genuine, confident, capable guy. He is prime ministerial and I think the speech yesterday showed that very clearly. He has sincerity and a genuine desire to change Britain for the better and, when the conference season is over, I'm sure Labour is going to be well in front, even more, in the polls."