02.10.2012 Miliband’s one-nation party sounds great, but will his speech inspire change?

Was Ed Miliband’s Labour party conference speech a PR win? Delivered on the day a poll revealed only one in five think he has what it takes to become PM, we assess his performance.

Ed Miliband today vowed that he will “unite the nation”, and Labour would now become the “one-nation party”.

In a much-improved performance, he spoke without notes or an autocue for over an hour, walking  freely around the stage as he set out his credentials to become the next Prime Minister.

The speech included very little in terms of policy, but received a standing ovation when he described the Conservative-led government as a medicine that isn’t working. He said:

“If the medicine isn’t working, change the medicine. And I tell you what else to change – change the doctor too, and that is what this country needs to do.”

The only substantial policy introduced was a proposal for a new qualification, the technical baccalaureate, which Miliband said would mark the end of the stigma attached to vocational courses.

He made several references to his Jewish immigrant parents and his modest comprehensive school background – clearly targeting the Prime Minister’s privileged upbringing and his belief that David Cameron is ‘out of touch’ with today’s society.

He also announced that while spending cuts would be here to stay with Labour, they would spend the money saved more sensibly.

Miliband’s personal, heartfelt speech will win him both plaudits and recognition, as many of the current government are seen as advantaged and elitist by the general public.

He communicated well, speaking with passion and conviction. He even threw a few genuinely funny jokes into the mix.

But when the dust settles after a top performance, the key question will be – what did he actually say?

This may be an issue that Cameron will look to attack next week, as he looks to bolster morale at the Conservative Party  conference after a torrid recent period.

Yes, Miliband’s soundbites were impressive. The jibes aimed at the Tories were accurate and incisive.

Yet, overall, very few solutions to Britain’s problems were offered with concrete policy solutions.

Overall, Miliband will celebrate a PR coup and a job well done today.

But a key question still hangs over him and his party – what about tomorrow?