Ed Miliband on the move but doubts linger

The good news for Labour is Ed Miliband is not nearly as strange in person as he often comes across on TV.

The bad news is he does not have time to meet all 41,892,818 voters by polling day on Thursday to prove that to them.

A swing through south coast seats and then back to London for a mass rally saw the would-be British prime minister pick up celebrity endorsements along the way, but were they the right ones?

Delia Smith is all very well, but she is hardly box office, and Russell Brand annoys far more people than he influences.

But when you’re locked in a campaign where neither major party can break out of the low 30s in the opinion polls, every little helps.

The Labour leader proved to be an unexpectedly impressive speaker as he delivered a rousing address at Westminster’s Central Methodist Hall, telling the cheering crowds “your cause is my cause” as a supposedly non-political audience of community volunteers gave him far more enthusiasm than that afforded to Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, who addressed the gathering before him.

But Clegg was probably tired, as he had been busy all morning stabbing his ex-best buddy David Cameron in the back and pretending he had not done so. Oh, no, it was nothing to do with Clegg that a close aide had leaked a private conversation he had with the PM in which Cameron admitted the Tories had no chance of a majority.

But there remains something about Miliband people cannot quite put their fingers on, but just do not warm to. Most of those who came close to him yesterday said he was more substantial than they expected, but quite a few still expressed reservations about whether he had the mettle to be prime minister.

But at least he now has Brand backing him and, if nothing else, the endorsement briefly took the focus off Miliband’s biggest faux pas of the campaign, when he unveiled a five-foot high limestone slab with his six, largely vacuous, campaign promises chiseled upon it.

Immediately dubbed Labour’s political ‘Ed Stone’, it soon became clear that if he did carry out his promise to erect it in the Downing St garden so he would be reminded of his pledges every day, he would probably be arrested, as Number 10 is a listed building protected by some very rigid planning laws.

However, despite Labour’s shadow chancellor of the exchequer Ed Balls once dismissing Brand as nothing more than a “pound shop Ben Elton”, in a race too close to call, even a comedian could help nudge them closer to the jackpot on polling day.

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