He had delegates on their feet four times, though the applause was warm rather than rapturous.
Ed Miliband did a sterling job reminding the party faithful yesterday why he was Labour leader, giving them a speech peppered with eye-catching policy proposals and jibes at David Cameron's perceived elitism, but whether it will have convinced voters that he is Prime Ministerial material is another question.
All the ingredients were there. The overarching theme, decrying the "race to the bottom" presided over by the Government, will strike a chord with millions. He talked of depressed wages and rising inflation, youth unemployment and underemployment. He provoked an enthusiastic response when he firmly rebutted the Government's claims that the last Labour government was to blame for travails in the NHS. The refrain that "Britain can do better than this" resonated throughout as he condemned everything from rising bankers' bonuses to the bedroom tax.
There were some ingratiating moments, such as his use of "heroes" for ordinary voters, but his performance was confident. He interspersed crowd-pleasing rhetoric with self-deprecating anecdotes, kicking off with a joke about a woman he had helped after she had fallen off her bike, only to have her liken him to an action hero. Later he realised she was concussed.
Yet likeability is not necessarily what voters look for in a head of government. For all the well-judged polemic, the Labour leader struggled to find that alchemical mix of words, body language and tone of voice that reassures voters they are in the presence of a possible future Prime Minister.
He did not duck the issue, but the need he felt to talk himself up as a leader only served to highlight his difficulty. If his aim was to shake off the image of the bright north London lad who went to Oxford and progressed seamlessly into the chattering classes, he did not do it with this speech.
Even so, it would be unwise to underestimate this seasoned political operator. Mr Miliband's promise of a 20-month freeze on gas and electricity bills showed a fearlessness in the face of powerful corporate interests that will put the Prime Minister on the back foot. The best Mr Cameron has achieved is a summit with energy companies that resulted in nothing but a reminder to householders to ensure they were on the lowest tariff. Meanwhile, the policy of strengthening the minimum wage and cracking down on gang masters would help British workers to compete on a level playing field with immigrant workers without demonising the latter; how different in tone from those Home Office poster vans telling illegal immigrants to go home.
The Labour leader has explained how he would like Britain to change and must now persuade voters he is the man to change it.
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