Paper talk: How can Miliband turn things around?


Ed must be swivel-eyed this morning, such is the volume of advice he's been handed by the press. Most of it starts by noting the Conservatives are on an upswing, and Labour's message hasn't quite got through to voters. So what might the party leader do to turn things round? (Besides getting that egg out of his hair).

Don't panic, says a New Statesman editorial. The latest poll figures, which show Labour slipping, don't represent an "inevitable Miliband decline" and "irresistible Conservative momentum".

Rather Ed can rely on the support of Lib Dem voters disgruntled with their party's record in power, and current goings-on in Westminster hold so little importance for the wider electorate that the Tory strong streak counts for very little indeed. However, unless Labour becomes "more of a fighting force in its own right", the prognosis for 2015 isn't particularly healthy.

In the Evening Standard, Matthew d'Ancona also points to forces beyond Miliband's control. What's really holding Labour back, he claims, is the spectre of Gordon Brown.

The Tories have played well on the negative legacy of the last Labour government and voters have a "collective disinclination to forgive quickly".

Mary Riddell offers some strident pointers in The Telegraph: first, Miliband won't outflank Crosby and the Tories on immigration, so he should focus instead on "abysmal pay" and living standards.

He also needs to demonstrate fiscal "toughness" by promising cuts the Conservatives cannot match, say by slashing Trident and closing prisons.

Finally, our Independent editorial advises Ed to shake up his front bench. With so many familiar faces, voters might not think Labour has evolved enough since 2010.