This week Nicola Sturgeon will take centre stage in Aberdeen for what will be the SNP’s biggest ever party conference.

New members have high expectations that when she makes her conference address it will include a commitment to a second independence referendum. How Sturgeon balances pragmatic politics – because she will be aware of the risks of calling an early second referendum – with these member expectations will be interesting to watch.

Are party leaders’ speeches of importance? Yes and no I suppose. Last week David Cameron gave possibly his best speech to the Conservatice conference during his tenure and it hasn’t done him any harm.

Cameron was bold, brazen and ambitious. A leader in command of his party, a statesmen with a view on how he wants the country to look and how he wants to be remembered. Cameron’s conference speech was excellent and it should make Labour very, very worried.

Contrast that with Corbyn who was insular, unoriginal and morose. A leader with a mandate from his party but with very little idea on how he wants to use it other than the vague claims that everyone will contribute. Corbyn’s conference speech left much room for improvement and will not worry the Conservatives in the slightest.

Whatever the importance of conference speeches Cameron’s has opened up a gaping chasm between him and the Labour leader. Looking to the Aberdeen this week, Sturgeon has the opportunity to compound Labour’s misery.

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