Ed Miliband's fightback: Does he have what it takes to win back voters?

Labour leader to say that failed coup against him by some of his own MPs has made him stronger and more determined than ever to win next May’s general election

Click to follow
The Independent Online

It takes skill for a politician to turn every setback into an opportunity. Ed Miliband has had a lot of practice and will try to do it again tomorrow.

The morale of Labour MPs has slumped since his disastrous party conference speech in September, just when he needed to look like a prime minister-in-waiting.

Mr Miliband will try to turn his recent troubles to his advantage in a fightback speech in London. His message is that the failed coup against him by some Labour MPs has made him stronger and more determined than ever to win next May’s general election.

It may sound like wishful thinking but one aide said: “The public expect to see political leaders have their mettle tested. In the last week, a section of the media has tried to destabilise Ed and throw him off course.”

By blaming his troubles on vested interests who do not want to see Labour in power, Mr Miliband hopes to unite his party against its enemies. But some critics will not be impressed. They insist the attempted coup was driven by what they found in their constituencies – that he is not seen as a credible prime minister.

Mr Miliband believes that there is still time to win over sceptical voters, as some will not “tune in” to politics until the election looms. His Labour critics fear the public has already made up its mind about him, and that it is too late to change their negative perceptions.