The Labour party had the "most successful" party conference, says The Spectator. Ed Miliband's pledge to cap energy prices set the agenda and shows that he "really does mean what he says about bringing back socialism".
However, the lack of drama at the Tory conference "masks a quiet consolidation of the British right". David Cameron is defining himself by what he does rather than what he says, and this "narrative of quiet (if slow) progress is starting to look far more attractive" now that it is juxtaposed with Miliband's socialism.
And if anyone was in doubt, Miliband's front bench reshuffle with its "cull of the remaining moderates" revealed "his true colours", says the Daily Express. Cameron, meanwhile, used his reshuffle to address a perceived weakness of his front bench, that it was privileged and out of touch.
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Cameron's aim was clear from his conference speech, says The Independent. Judging Labour to have "lurched to the left", he is "tilting hard at the centre". "Uncomfortably liberal policies", such as gay marriage, are no longer necessary. Conventional Conservative talk of "effort rewarded" and "economic rectitude" will suffice. And his analysis was convincingly put. He is right to say that profit is not a dirty word, and that it is business, not government, that creates jobs.
His speech may have lacked "a certain passion", but focusing on competence and credibility rather than "entering a populist bidding war, makes political sense", says the FT. It allows him to create "clear dividing lines" between himself and Miliband, the "reckless tax-and-spender".
The resurrection of the "socialist bogey" allows Cameron to mobilise his core vote without "crude appeals to the populist right" and may make it easier to deal with the Ukip threat. Tories tempted by Ukip will be less likely to defect at the ballot box if it means a victory for Red Ed'.
The battle lines for next election are drawn. Miliband sees it as a fight between Tories "committed to keeping the proceeds of economic growth for the rich" and a Labour party that would "spread them more widely".
Cameron, by contrast, sees it as a battle between a Labour party that has reverted to socialism and a Tory party committed to enterprise and opportunity that will boost Britain's long-term growth. For the moment, at least, Cameron's vision is "more convincing".
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