Podcast: Ed Balls and the politics of opposition

Ed Balls with Labour leader Ed Miliband
Ed Balls with Labour leader Ed Miliband
Alex Stevenson By

It's autumn statement week, but this hasn't been a great triumph for the shadow chancellor.

Despite the struggling economy and five more years of austerity still ahead, Ed Balls got into a terrible muddle in his response to George Osborne in the Commons yesterday. The incident only serves to underline the challenges of the job: being in opposition is not as easy as it looks.

Before the autumn statement we spoke to Balls about what he wants to see from the chancellor and on winning back voters. We've then analysed his comments to reveal what they say about life out of power.

The shadow chancellor spoke to politics.co.uk from an office somewhere in a factory in Stevenage ahead of the autumn statement. His calls for George Osborne to reverse the government's deficit reduction agenda, moves to distance himself from New Labour's immigration policies and thoughts about how best to go about winning back lost voters all offer fascinating fodder for analysis. That's provided by Nigel Fletcher, executive director of the Centre for Opposition Studies, in the second half of this episode.

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