At the Labour party conference, this time last year, Sarah Brown hit the headlines after her impromptu on stage appearance to introduce her husband. The success of this appearance was seen as critical at the time, but one year on, has Sarah’s popularity made an impact where it is needed most? Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni have both been scrutinised but Joachim Sauer, husband of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has managed to maintain a low profile. Is there a double standard in the treatment of political spouses and can the popularity of their partner influence the leader's success? Jane is joined by the Observer’s political editor Gaby Hinsliff and The Times political writer Alice Thomson.