Best moment: Miliband’s clear and persuasive opposition to the abolition of universal child benefit. It ensured that his first PMQs was a success and allowed him to assert his social-democratic credentials. With the Treasury warning that the planned benefit cuts are “unenforceable“, Miliband’s opposition may yet pay dividends.
Worst moment: The Labour leader was humiliated when David Cameron declared: “I’d rather be a child of Thatcher than a son of Brown.” It was the defining moment of what proved to be his worst week as leader.
Best line: “I was a student politician, but I wasn’t hanging around with people who were throwing bread rolls and wrecking restaurants.” (To David Cameron at PMQs on 8 December)
Worst line: “I think I was doing something else at the time, actually.” (On why he missed the students’ protest)
Best joke: “If the Kremlin is spying on the Lib Dems, I’m not surprised. They want a bit of light relief.” (At PMQs in response to the Mike Hancock story)
Worst joke: “I stole David’s football, so he nationalised my train set.” (In his party conference speech)
Least loyal shadow minister: Alan Johnson wins this one by a country mile. His sustained opposition to a graduate tax and to a permanent 50p income-tax rate represented the most serious challenge to Miliband’s authority. The shadow chancellor eventually climbed down and suggested that there was a “strong case” for graduate tax, albeit in the most unconvincing way possible. But the damage had been done and the confusion meant Labour could offer only token opposition to higher tuition fees.
Highest Labour poll rating: 43 per cent (YouGov/Sun poll, 20 December)
Lowest Labour poll rating: 34 per cent (ComRes/Independent on Sunday, 15 October)
And finally . . . Best line borrowed from an NS comment thread: “He wished he could come back and say No, No No, but in his case it’s a bit more like No, Maybe, Oh go on then.” (On David Cameron and the EU budget. Hats off to Bill Kristol-Balls)