And that’s that. 500 events, 72 hours, 3 Gangnam Styles and 1 leader’s speech later, the 2014 Labour Party Conference has finished. It was a busy few days for the Political Intelligence Conference team but they have mustered enough energy to share their top ten Conference takeaways:
More Tech recognition from the frontbench team is required – whilst Ed Miliband himself mentioned investment in Green Technology, his shadow cabinet colleagues were light on commentary about the transformational benefits of tech for Government. However…
…On the fringe many events discussed the opportunities and benefits of tech. From the Internet of Things and the sharing economy to privacy and mobile voting, high quality panel sessions debated important issues. This included the first TechCentral that we were proud to sponsor
Labour Digital is encouraging – Labour is committed to reviewing its policies on data in the next Parliamentary session, with key frontbenchers getting tech
Labour will be rallying around the NHS – from the commitment to an additional £2.5bn fund to Harry Smith’s charged speech, it is clear that Labour’s messaging will be centred on its familiar territory in the coming months
Ed still has to convince that he is PM-in-waiting – following the positive reception of speeches at previous Conferences, the commentariat consensus is that 2014’s address did set out a clear and ambitious programme for Government and the election countdown clock is ticking
A lack of clarity over the detail of new income raising measures (such as the Mansion tax and ‘big tobacco tax’) risks damaging the credibility of Labour spending plans
Labour made a concerted effort to bolster their energy policy offerings and have amplified their support for the low carbon agenda
Labour needs to be clear on its policies on key issues such as air strikes in Syria and Iraq and devolution before the Conservatives seize the narrative
Despite the rumours and regular trap-setting from mischievous political commentators, the Labour front bench produced a unified display and remained impressively loyal to their party leader
And finally No.10, the one you’ve all been waiting for! We were going to use our final policy titbit to comment on an issue of long term, national significance… Unfortunately (but in true #Lab14 form) we’ve completely forgotten what we were going to say…
…maybe something about a deficit?
The best pic of #Lab14
Now with less than 8 months to go until the General Election, Conference-weary Labour supporters will now be asking themselves one question; was it all worth it?
Only time will tell but as the winning entry to Political Intelligence’s unofficial caption competition shows, Ed Miliband seems confident…
WINNING CAPTION: Mr Miliband, will you be addressing next year’s Conference as the British Prime Minister?
Political Intelligence was proud to sponsor the first TechCentral at this year’s Labour Party Conference. We will be doing so again at the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Conferences in the next couple of weeks.