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Is Ed Miliband the manager to take Labour to victory?

It felt like the speech he should have made at conference.

This time he chose autocue rather than memory.

And this time he didn't forget key passages, like on immigration.

The audience was very supportive and gave loud cheers when Ed Miliband spoke about winning the election and taking on UKIP.

There was no new policy. The speech was, said his aides, about "his core beliefs".

He addressed questions about his leadership issues (despite earlier denying he had any) by saying "the last few days" had made him stronger.

The reason why Labour is not doing better in the polls he said, was due to "powerful forces and vested interests" without specifically referring to who he meant.

And as for the opinion polls, a number of which have had Labour a few points behind the Conservatives, he said you cannot "declared the result of the match until you have blown the final whistle".

The final whistle will be blown on 7th May.

The long match is underway.

Ed Miliband's task now is to prove he is the right manager, and he can lead his team to victory.

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