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Queen's Speech debate shows Ed Miliband growing in stature

Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband process to the House of Lords, London, to listen to the Queen's Speech. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The Queen's Speech debate always offers interesting insights into the state of play here at Westminster.

Because the opening stages of it are supposed to have a non-partisan feel to them, they provide a test of a leader's ability to hold the floor and command respect; to sound, in short, Prime Ministerial.

It seems worth recording therefore that many people here feel today was a further sign of Ed Miliband's progress.

It's not a perfect picture; his personal attacks on the 'rich and arrogant posh boys' might appeal to the party rank and file, but I doubt they cut much ice with the kind of voters he needs to win over to make it to Downing Street and they make him sound like a student politician (though to be fair David Cameron is often as bad, if not worse, his various jokes about the brothers, in particular, now well past their sell-by date).

It is also probably true to say that, on leadership, most people in Westminster would still give David Cameron the edge.

But what I think is beyond argument is that Ed Miliband is slowly growing in stature. Much of his speech in the Commons today was first class; funny, confident and incisive.

That may not have filtered through to the country at large yet, but it should worry the Tories.

Leadership and economic competence are the twin pillars of their re-election strategy.

An improving Ed Miliband and a poor budget are shaking both.

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