Each year hundreds of delegates attend the annual party conferences.Leaders are cheered and journalists pick over the contents of speeches.
But what is the relevance of these gatherings beyond the conference floor?
What impact do they have on constituents back home?
Helen Ford has been getting the thoughts of an MP and councillor.
Among delegates at the Labour Party conference in Manchester are two teenagers from our region, listening to the leader's keynote speech.
Labour leader Ed Miliband meets delegates at his party's conference in Manchester
At the Labour Party conference in Manchester, delegates have been debating how the North East can flourish.