Ed Miliband needed to give a leader’s speech that appealed on the doorstep, to unions, and catapulted him into the public’s imagination as a prime minister in waiting.

With a well-received, noteless, hour-long speech, Miliband might just have done it. Our team of leading Labour writers and thinkers asses how he did.

Ellie Mae O'Hagan, organiser for Unite and Guardian columnist 2.5/5

"I think it cemented his position as leader. He'll definitely lead Labour into the 2015 election now. It showed he was relaxed and personable and self effacing. He bashed the tories but at the end of the day he pledge to carry on with the cuts. So what is he here for? There's an alternative out there.

"I was so disappointed not to hear him say he would reverse the cuts. At the end of the day people don't care about Murdoch and the banks, they care about their lives and futures."

Anthony Painter: Labour activist and think-tanker 4.5/5

"I thought was an incredibly strong speech actually. I think it was a well-delivered speech. I thought the theme was a very powerful one.

"Does it fundamentally address Labour's weaknesses? Probably not but it does remind people about Labour's strengths. People will be better able to relate to him out of that."

ed miliband conference speech

Well, of course his wife liked it

Rowenna Davis, writer and Labour councillor 4/5

"This was the sound of a man who is starting to believe in himself. He laid out some strong radical ideas on vocational education and breaking up the banks. But he also delivered a real emotional connection with the audience. He proved that Labour can talk about patriotism, family, faith and hard work and still be true to its values.

"It is exactly what I thought was needed, I am still slightly concerned that the rhetoric is more ambitious than the policy ideas we've been given.

"In 2010 it was considered impossible. In 2011 it was improbable. After today it just might be possible."

SEE ALSO: Ed Miliband Adopts Benjamin Disraeli's 19th Century Conservative 'One Nation' Label In Conference Speech

Mark Ferguson, editor of Labourlist 3.5/5

"It was clearly a very impressive speech. It was a brilliant speech to do something like that without notes but my concern is I still don't have something I can take home to the doorstep."

Will Straw, Associate Director, IPPR 4.5/5

"One Nation is absolutely the right argument. A very positive way of setting out his vision and setting a clear division with the Tories.

"He definitely projected leadership, in a way he's not done before. he was very clear about what he wanted to take on, including the banking sector. he didn't take on the fiscal crunch but he has done that at other points this week. Ed Balls did that yesterday. I think the only criticism would be a criticism of omission.

"As a political strategy One Nation is inspired because it's a positive way of framing the divide with the Tories but it will still need some work on the doorstep."

My verdict: 4/5

It took forty minutes before we got to a policy but it was a speech so well-delivered I barely noticed. The talk at conference is about how impressive it was that he spoke for so long without notes (and without boring journalists.) Last year, from the moment Ed delivered his speech it was almost like a cloud of gloom descended over conference. This year, the atmosphere has perked up.

The only problem with Ed's delivery were his hand gestures - at times I thought he was waving an invisible lasso. The 'One Nation' message (which is very Blue Labour) could also be difficult to resonate with voters - it was always the part of A-level politics I could never understand. Having said that, my colleague Ned pointed out to me it's better than 'predistribution.' There's no meat yet but that's the point - the policies will come in the next few years. First let's get to know the man.

Labour Party Conference 2012: What Can We Expect From Ed Miliband's Speech?

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  • Labour Party leader Ed Miliband kisses his wife Justine

    Labour Party leader Ed Miliband kisses his wife Justine after delivering his keynote speech to delegates at Manchester Central during the third day of the Labour Party Conference in Manchester. Picture date: Tuesday October 2, 2012. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

  • Labour Conference Focuses On Leader's Speech

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Labour Party leader Ed Miliband kisses his wife Justine Thornton after delivering his keynote speech to delegates during the annual Labour Party Conference on October 02, 2012 in Manchester, England. During his speech Mr. Miliband announced a series of proposals for changes to the education system, unveiling plans for a new qualification in the form of a technical baccalaureate, and pledging to transform the lives of the 'forgotten' 50% of young people who do not go to university. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Labour Conference Focuses On Leader's Speech

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Labour Party leader Ed Miliband delivers his keynote speech to delegates during the annual Labour Party Conference at Manchester Central on October 02, 2012 in Manchester, England. During his speech Mr. Miliband announced a series of proposals for changes to the education system, unveiling plans for a new qualification in the form of a technical baccalaureate, and pledging to transform the lives of the 'forgotten' 50% of young people who do not go to university. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Labour Conference Focuses On Leader's Speech

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Labour Party leader Ed Miliband and his wife Justine Thornton laugh in stage after he delivered his keynote speech to delegates during the annual Labour Party Conference on October 02, 2012 in Manchester, England. During his speech Mr. Miliband announced a series of proposals for changes to the education system, unveiling plans for a new qualification in the form of a technical baccalaureate, and pledging to transform the lives of the 'forgotten' 50% of young people who do not go to university. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Labour Conference Focuses On Leader's Speech

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Labour Party leader Ed Miliband delivers his keynote speech to delegates during the annual Labour Party Conference on October 02, 2012 in Manchester, England. During his speech Mr. Miliband announced a series of proposals for changes to the education system, unveiling plans for a new qualification in the form of a technical baccalaureate, and pledging to transform the lives of the 'forgotten' 50% of young people who do not go to university. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Labour Conference Focuses On Leader's Speech

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Labour Party leader Ed Miliband is joined on stage by wife Justine Thornton as acknowledges the applause after his keynote speech to delegates during the annual Labour Party Conference on October 02, 2012 in Manchester, England. During his speech Mr. Miliband announced a series of proposals for changes to the education system, unveiling plans for a new qualification in the form of a technical baccalaureate, and pledging to transform the lives of the 'forgotten' 50% of young people who do not go to university. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Labour Conference Focuses On Leader's Speech

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Labour Party leader Ed Miliband is joined on stage by his wife Justine Thornton as acknowledges the applause after his keynote speech to delegates during the annual Labour Party Conference on October 02, 2012 in Manchester, England. During his speech Mr. Miliband announced a series of proposals for changes to the education system, unveiling plans for a new qualification in the form of a technical baccalaureate, and pledging to transform the lives of the 'forgotten' 50% of young people who do not go to university. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Labour Conference Focuses On Leader's Speech

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Labour Party leader Ed Miliband delivers his keynote speech to delegates during the annual Labour Party Conference on October 02, 2012 in Manchester, England. During his speech Mr. Miliband announced a series of proposals for changes to the education system, unveiling plans for a new qualification in the form of a technical baccalaureate, and pledging to transform the lives of the 'forgotten' 50% of young people who do not go to university. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Labour Conference Focuses On Leader's Speech

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Labour Party leader Ed Miliband delivers his keynote speech to delegates during the annual Labour Party Conference on October 02, 2012 in Manchester, England. During his speech Mr. Miliband announced a series of proposals for changes to the education system, unveiling plans for a new qualification in the form of a technical baccalaureate, and pledging to transform the lives of the 'forgotten' 50% of young people who do not go to university. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Labour Conference Focuses On Leader's Speech

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Labour Party leader Ed Miliband delivers his keynote speech to delegates during the annual Labour Party Conference on October 02, 2012 in Manchester, England. During his speech Mr. Miliband announced a series of proposals for changes to the education system, unveiling plans for a new qualification in the form of a technical baccalaureate, and pledging to transform the lives of the 'forgotten' 50% of young people who do not go to university. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Labour Conference Focuses On Leader's Speech

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Labour Party leader Ed Miliband delivers his keynote speech to delegates during the annual Labour Party Conference on October 02, 2012 in Manchester, England. During his speech Mr. Miliband announced a series of proposals for changes to the education system, unveiling plans for a new qualification in the form of a technical baccalaureate, and pledging to transform the lives of the 'forgotten' 50% of young people who do not go to university. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Labour Conference Focuses On Leader's Speech

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Labour Party leader Ed Miliband delivers his keynote speech to delegates during the annual Labour Party Conference on October 02, 2012 in Manchester, England. During his speech Mr. Miliband announced a series of proposals for changes to the education system, unveiling plans for a new qualification in the form of a technical baccalaureate, and pledging to transform the lives of the 'forgotten' 50% of young people who do not go to university. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Labour Conference Focuses On Leader's Speech

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Labour Party leader Ed Miliband delivers his keynote speech to delegates during the annual Labour Party Conference on October 02, 2012 in Manchester, England. During his speech Mr. Miliband announced a series of proposals for changes to the education system, unveiling plans for a new qualification in the form of a technical baccalaureate, and pledging to transform the lives of the 'forgotten' 50% of young people who do not go to university. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Labour Annual Conference 2012

    Labour Party leader Ed Miliband delivers his keynote speech to delegates at Manchester Central during the third day of the Labour Party Conference in Manchester.

  • Labour Annual Conference 2012

    Labour Party leader Ed Miliband delivers his keynote speech to delegates at Manchester Central during the third day of the Labour Party Conference in Manchester.

  • Labour Conference Focuses On Leader's Speech

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Labour Party leader Ed Miliband acknowledges the applause as he delivers his keynote speech to delegates during the annual Labour Party Conference on October 02, 2012 in Manchester, England. During his speech Mr. Miliband announced a series of proposals for changes to the education system, unveiling plans for a new qualification in the form of a technical baccalaureate, and pledging to transform the lives of the 'forgotten' 50% of young people who do not go to university. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Labour Annual Conference 2012

    Labour Party leader Ed Miliband delivers his keynote speech to delegates at Manchester Central during the third day of the Labour Party Conference in Manchester.

  • Labour Conference Focuses On Leader's Speech

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Labour Party leader Ed Miliband delivers his keynote speech to delegates during the annual Labour Party Conference on October 02, 2012 in Manchester, England. During his speech Mr. Miliband announced a series of proposals for changes to the education system, unveiling plans for a new qualification in the form of a technical baccalaureate, and pledging to transform the lives of the 'forgotten' 50% of young people who do not go to university. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Labour Conference Focuses On Leader's Speech

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Labour Party leader Ed Miliband walks on stage to deliver his keynote speech to delegates during the annual Labour Party Conference on October 02, 2012 in Manchester, England. During his speech Mr. Miliband is expected to announce a series of proposals for changes to the education system, unveiling plans for a new qualification in the form of a technical baccalaureate, and pledging to transform the lives of the 'forgotten' 50% of young people who do not go to university. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Labour Annual Conference 2012

    Labour Party leader Ed Miliband delivers his keynote speech to delegates at Manchester Central during the third day of the Labour Party Conference in Manchester.

  • Labour Conference Focuses On Leader's Speech

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Labour Party leader Ed Miliband delivers his keynote speech to delegates during the annual Labour Party Conference on October 02, 2012 in Manchester, England. During his speech Mr. Miliband announced a series of proposals for changes to the education system, unveiling plans for a new qualification in the form of a technical baccalaureate, and pledging to transform the lives of the 'forgotten' 50% of young people who do not go to university. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Labour Annual Conference 2012

    Labour Party leader Ed Miliband delivers his keynote speech to delegates at Manchester Central during the third day of the Labour Party Conference in Manchester.

  • Labour Annual Conference 2012

    Labour Party leader Ed Miliband and his wife Justine arrive at Manchester Central ahead of his keynote speech to delegates during the third day of the Labour Party Conference in Manchester.

  • Labour Annual Conference 2012

    Labour Party leader Ed Miliband and his wife Justine arrive at Manchester Central ahead of his keynote speech to delegates during the third day of the Labour Party Conference in Manchester.

  • Labour Annual Conference 2012

    Labour Party leader Ed Miliband and his wife Justine arrive at Manchester Central ahead of his keynote speech to delegates during the third day of the Labour Party Conference in Manchester.

  • Labour Annual Conference 2012

    Labour Party leader Ed Miliband and his wife Justine arrive at Manchester Central ahead of his keynote speech to delegates during the third day of the Labour Party Conference in Manchester.

  • Labour Conference Focuses On Leader's Speech

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Labour Party leader Ed Miliband stands under back stage lighting during the annual Labour Party Conference on October 02, 2012 in Manchester, England. Mr Miliband is due to deliver his keynote speach to delegates this afternoon where he is expected to announce a series of proposals for changes to the education system, unveiling plans for a new qualification in the form of a technical baccalaureate, and pledging to transform the lives of the 'forgotten' 50% of young people who do not go to university. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Labour Conference Focuses On Leader's Speech

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Labour Leader Ed Miliband and wife Justine Thornton arrive at the conference centre on October 02, 2012 in Manchester, England. Mr Miliband is due to deliver his keynote speach to delegates this afternoon where he is expected to announce a series of proposals for changes to the education system, unveiling plans for a new qualification in the form of a technical baccalaureate, and pledging to transform the lives of the 'forgotten' 50% of young people who do not go to university. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • Labour Conference Focuses On Leader's Speech

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Labour Leader Ed Miliband and wife Justine Thornton arrive at the conference centre on October 02, 2012 in Manchester, England. Mr Miliband is due to deliver his keynote speach to delegates this afternoon where he is expected to announce a series of proposals for changes to the education system, unveiling plans for a new qualification in the form of a technical baccalaureate, and pledging to transform the lives of the 'forgotten' 50% of young people who do not go to university. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-POLITICS-LABOUR

    Britain's Opposition Labour party leader Ed Miliband (R) and his wife Justine arrive for the third day of the annual Labour Party Conference in Manchester, north-west England, on October 2, 2012. Miliband is expected to address the conference later Tuesday. AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • BRITAIN-POLITICS-LABOUR

    Britain's Opposition Labour party leader Ed Miliband (R) and his wife Justine arrive for the third day of the annual Labour Party Conference in Manchester, north-west England, on October 2, 2012. Miliband is expected to address the conference later Tuesday. AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Labour Conference Focuses On Leader's Speech

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Labour Leader Ed Miliband and wife Justine Thornton arrive at the conference centre on October 02, 2012 in Manchester, England. Mr Miliband is due to deliver his keynote speach to delegates this afternoon where he is expected to announce a series of proposals for changes to the education system, unveiling plans for a new qualification in the form of a technical baccalaureate, and pledging to transform the lives of the 'forgotten' 50% of young people who do not go to university. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-POLITICS-LABOUR

    Britain's Opposition Labour party leader Ed Miliband (R) and his wife Justine arrive for the third day of the annual Labour Party Conference in Manchester, north-west England, on October 2, 2012. Miliband is expected to address the conference later Tuesday. AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Labour Conference Focuses On Leader's Speech

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02: Labour Party leader Ed Miliband acknowledges the applause as he delivers his keynote speech to delegates during the annual Labour Party Conference on October 02, 2012 in Manchester, England. During his speech Mr. Miliband announced a series of proposals for changes to the education system, unveiling plans for a new qualification in the form of a technical baccalaureate, and pledging to transform the lives of the 'forgotten' 50% of young people who do not go to university. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)