After a difficult Monday morning of gaffes and on-air slip-ups, Ed Miliband would have been hoping for an easier ride when he went out and about to meet the working classes on Wednesday.
Yet despite extensive stage-managing and with a seemingly simple task at hand, the Labour leader still struggled in his bid to look normal and back in touch with the general public.
Mr Miliband said he would be embarking on a whirlwind tour of 10 key locations across five regions of England, in a last-minute push for votes ahead of the local and European elections.
The first challenge, however, came in the form of a bacon sandwich – that staple for any politician wanting to look like he fits in.
The assembled photographers quickly took an interest after it became apparent that the mound of oozing ketchup and grease could not be tackled elegantly.
In pictures: Ed Miliband trying to look normal
In pictures: Ed Miliband trying to look normal
1/17 The beggar
Ed Miliband casually gives money to a homeless woman in Manchester, surrounded by press photographers.
2/17 The Bacon Sandwich
Ed Miliband buys a bacon sandwich from cafe owner Antonios Foufas at New Covent Garden Market in London as he kicks off a day of campaigning on the eve of the local and European elections
3/17 The Bacon Sandwich
Ed Miliband chats with a cafe owner Antonios Foufas at New Covent Garden Market in London
4/17 The Bacon Sandwich
Ed Miliband embarked on a whirlwind campaign tour of England - but struggled at the first hurdle (a bacon sandwich). Aides intervened after just a few less-than-elegant bites
5/17 Flower Shopping
Ed Miliband talks with a couple of traders at New Covent Garden Market in London
6/17 Flower Shopping
Ed Miliband purchases some red roses for his wife at New Covent Garden Market in London
7/17 Talking Business
Ed Miliband talks with a trader at New Covent Garden Market in London
8/17 Good Morning Britain
Miliband on ITV's Good Morning Britain show on 20 May 2014, a day of gaffes in which he was also caught out by BBC Wiltshire for not knowing who the local Labour leader was
9/17 '£70 Weekly Shop'
Ed was accused of being 'out of touch with reality' after he seemed not to know what he - or the average British family - spends on a weekly food shop
10/17 Drop in Polls
Ed Miliband paid a visit to Leighton Hospital in Crewe to speak with the staff about the NHS, but faced difficult questions about polls showing his personal ratings falling well behind those David Cameron and George Osborne
11/17 On the Sofa with Farage
Ed Miliband appeared on the Andrew Marr Show to debate with Nigel Farage - but has all but conceded defeat in the Newark by-election, allowing Ukip a free run at the Tories
12/17 Wollies in Wellies
Miliband was among a number of politicians to come under fire for 'touring' the floods in the South and South West earlier this year
13/17 Wollies in Wellies
The Labour leader admitted it was 'a difficult decision for politicians whether to visit areas like this'
14/17 Missed Opportunity
Miliband's performance at the Labour conference last year failed to make much of an impression on voters, polls suggested
15/17 Sharing the Moment
Miliband, Nick Clegg, David Cameron and Angus Robinson enjoy their moment with Andy Murray, after the tennis player's Wimbledon win
16/17 Casual Husband
Miliband and his wife Justine are pictured in their hotel room in Brighton as he prepares to give his keynote speech to the annual Labour Party Conference
17/17 The Milibands
Just your average family of four?
After no more than a few bites the leader's advisors had to intervene, and the offending food item was entrusted to shadow cabinet member Lord Wood, the Evening Standard reported.
And the situation only got more awkward when cafe owner Tony Foufas, who served Mr Miliband, said he actually felt that the Conservatives were more “pro-business” and would not be inclined to vote Labour.
Speaking later to the Standard about the previous day’s disastrous media appearances, Mr Miliband admitted: “It comes with the territory.”
The rest of the morning reportedly went considerably better for the leader, after he went to buy a bouquet of roses for his wife Justine and was offered a significant discount – presumably the flower-seller was a fan.
Wednesday's tour took Mr Miliband from London to his Doncaster constituency via towns in the South-east, the East of England, East Midlands and Yorkshire & Humberside, and he said on Tuesday that he would highlight one of the 10 pledges from his “cost-of-living contract” at each location.
“I will be urging people to vote Labour on Thursday because I know Britain can do better than this,” he said. “And it is Labour MEPs and Labour councillors who can help deliver”.
On Tuesday, Mr Miliband made a similar speech on Good Morning Britain before he was quizzed on how much he knew about his own family’s cost of living. Failing to bluff his way through, he was accused by presenter Susanna Reid of being “out of touch with reality”.
Later in a radio interview with BBC Wiltshire, he was forced to admit that he did not know who the Labour leader for Swindon was – or even that the council is actually Conservative-led – but nonetheless insisted he felt he was doing a “good job”.Reuse content